Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday Customer Inspiration - Kim's skirt-less - and fabulous - club chairs!

Wow - two weeks in a row I have something to share with and inspire you!

Here's Kim's email:

Hi, So excited that I had to share what we did with the little club chairs that you and I knew would be too costly to reupholster!  ($450 for labor alone, no skirt and would need 6 yards of fabric each.)  The following are photos of how we modernized these cute little chairs.  Our son is a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner and he cleaned them up very nicely!  He persuaded me that I didn't need to reupholster them...he likes the retro look!  My hubby finally bought into it too.  See captions below the photos for what we did.  Our 15 year old daughter was the one who said right at Jubilee, can't you take the skirt off?  They have nice black legs.  I hope you can use these photos to inspire some of your other customers!  See you soon!  

God Bless,


 carefully removing the staples from the skirt without tearing the fabric

 using a seam ripper to remove the welting from the skirt (my poor hubby doesn't really know how to use a seam ripper...I just said pose for this photo!

 stapling the welting back onto the underside of the chair

 Nicely finished edge.  You can barely see where the original skirt was. :)

Now aren't these a cute pair of chairs?  Thanks Jubilee Furniture!

Yep, Kim - they are extremely cute chairs! 

Have you purchased something from the furniture store that you've transformed (a lot or a little)?  Take a couple of photos of what you've done and email me at sgalbraith@outreachcommin.org so that you - like Kim - might inspire others!

Thanks so much, Kim!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Customer Inspiration - Michelle's creative and sweet baby shower book nook!

Welcome!  If you're newer to the blog, let me explain what happens on Tuesdays - IF - a wonderful customer has emailed me photos. 

Starting with the certain knowledge that all Jubilee Furniture customers are amazing, creative, environmentally careful and smart with their money - I decided I wanted to harness these things in order to inspire others.  So, I began encouraging customers to send me photos - and a brief description of whatever they did to whatever they purchased from the furniture store - in order to post said photos/descriptions for a wider audience to view and possibly imitate.

If you click on the Customer Inspirations tab above - you'll see thumbnail photos of previous posts that will truly encourage and inspire you!  Some of the posts show seriously transformed pieces and some simply how nice used furniture can look inside a lovely home.  Either way - it's fun to see what people have done with things purchased from a dimly lit warehouse in Carol Stream, Illinois.

Here's the email I received last week:

Hi Susan,  

I came into Jubilee back in the beginning of June and bought a book shelf for a baby shower. Thought I would share how it turned out!  The theme for the baby shower was Baby Book Club and everyone brought a book instead of a card.  Instead of playing a game during the shower, I had all the shower guests put their hand prints on the piece as a tribute to the baby!  I really love how it came out!


If I can read the price tag showing in the before photo - it looks like Michelle paid $18 for this storage piece.  Just by painting this fairly generic piece white - Michelle instantly improved it 100%!   Add in the colorful and meaningful hand prints and this piece - perfect for large flat picture books - is off the charts fabulous!  How sweet and what a special piece of furniture for this new baby!

This is such a great idea that would work in so many different ways!  Maybe instead of hand prints, have each guest write a note with permanent marker and sign their name or do the hand prints on a toy chest or...

What fun and many thanks to Michelle for her splendid idea!

I'll see you on Friday for my weekly update post, dear reader!  Until then - take care!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Customer Inspiration - David's creative and beautiful dining rooms!

Hello!  Remember Tuesday Customer Inspiration?  It's where one of my amazing customers sends me an email at sgalbraith@outreachcommin.org with a photo or two of whatever they've purchased from Jubilee Furniture and a short (or long) explanation of what they've done (or not done) to the furniture.  The idea behind TCI is to help inspire others to see beyond the deary warehouse, bad lighting and humid interior to what so much of our inventory can become with a little imagination and sweat equity.

David has a gorgeous apartment in Chicago and has been featured on TCI before (check it out here).   As a professional designer he's trained to know what to look for when shopping for furniture - but his secret is something anyone can learn - keep an open mind!

Here's David's email:

Hi Susan,

You posted some pictures of my flat around a year ago.  I wanted to send you a snap of my newest Jubilee find/project.

I decided to redo my "formal" living room and turn it into a sort of dining area.  Mostly, I really wanted a space that could be used as a home office but also serve as flexible space for entertaining..and I decided that the sunniest room in my flat should be the room that I use the most, not the least.  I already had a table and some great chairs hiding in storage, but needed a very large functional piece of furniture to hide away all of my mess...and I wanted something that would be an unexpected piece to find in a dining room.

It also had to be tall enough to fill the wall and cover over the horrible plaster work that "someone" did who thought it would be an easy DIY project!

What I ended up with was a pair of metal office lockers that were painted office beige and looked nothing short of sad in the back of Jubilee.  The price was right, some considerate soul had taped the keys to them inside the cabinet, and the dimensions were just about perfect.

The big trend in the city is stripped metal furniture, where people remove layers of paint to expose the steel underneath.  One palm sander, a couple of hours of sanding, and a coat of clear coat left me with two cabinets that proudly show the steel and look far removed from their officey brethren.

I also decided to hang up the "wonky" chandelier that I used to use as a table lamp.  I would anticipate the person who gave it to Jubilee disliked it for the very same reasons that I love it!

I love coming to Jubilee, and always try to approach every piece in there with an open mind!  My style might not appeal to everyone (or even to myself at times) but a little creativity can really make a piece come alive.

Hope that all is well!

Wow - when I think those two metal storage pieces where probably in someone's garage or basement - and how unbelievable they look in David's dining area - it's wild!

In a follow up email David shared another photo of another dining space in his home (his flat is two apartments combined) used for things like when he opens his home for church potlucks or a formal dinner for 24!  It's in his English basement which is below the main living space.

David writes:

Quite a few chairs down there came from Jubilee and I reupholstered all of the seats in a matching murky green silk mohair to formulate them into a set.

A huge THANK YOU to David for taking the time to send fabulous photos of his gorgeous home and for resurrecting Tuesday Customer Inspiration.  Continue the trend by sending me YOUR photos!  Please?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday's Customer Inspiration - Melissa's comfy, lovely, up-scale, CLEAN chair and sofa!

Melissa's email is so fun, so wonderfully captures our "attitude" at Jubilee Furniture - I think I'll just shush up.

I came in to Jubilee the beginning of December, after seeing a picture of what I hoped was the couch of my dreams on your blog.  I wasn't able to get there until Saturday morning and was sure the couch would be gone (all the good stuff usually is) by the time I got there.  Imagine my surprise seeing it there front and center as I walked in the door.  I debated long and hard between it and another retro couch that was there. I sat, I lounged, I chatted with the ladies as they sorted through some toys they were packaging.  I even lied down on both of them (the couches, not the ladies!) for a while.  You see, I had made the mistake of purchasing a set from craigslist last spring and had only briefly sat in one of the chairs before deciding.  After getting the set home and trying to sit on the sofa through an entire movie, I discovered it was not comfortable at all!  Not only that, but the material was seriously sun-faded in several spots.  And I paid $500 for the set!

After nearly an hour of testing - with the ladies being not only patient, but encouraging - I decided to purchase not only the couch (a steal for $115) but also the chair I found lurking in a dark corner.  I wish I had a true "before" pic of the chair.  The one I've sent is after I took it apart, cleaned the frame and washed the cover.  It was D.I.R.T.Y!  It washed up wonderfully and with a fresh coat of black paint and a stylish pillow, looks brand new.  The couch was great "as is," but I do think it looks decidedly up-scale with the addition of my french script pillows, don't you?

And, I'm happy to report, the couch has hosted many a movie marathon and various comfortable lounging positions for the entire family since December.  Thanks Jubilee!

 top photo is of the sofa Melissa ended up buying while still in the store
bottom photo same sofa in Melissa's lovely home boasting some cool french script pillows 
(love! Yes, very up-scale, Melissa!)

Melissa wasn't kidding when she said this chair was dirty!  It was!  I think it had a $15 price tag on it (do you remember what you paid for the chair, Melissa?) because I didn't know if it would clean up or not - obviously it did!  Add a coat of black paint and another french script pillow and can you say, "Ooh la la"?  (French script pillow, ooh la la - I crack myself up sometimes!)

It also makes me laugh that Melissa said she found it "lurking in a dark corner"!  Truly you never know what you might find at Jubilee Furniture (partly because our inventory changes so quickly, partly because you can't see some of our stuff!).

Remember the purpose of my Tuesday post is to inspire you to view used furniture in a new and creative way!   A huge - THANK YOU - to Melissa for doing just that! 

We have another big week of donation pickups so plan on spending some of your Easter weekend with us at the furniture store!  We WILL be OPEN Friday from 1 to 8 and Saturday from 9 to 4!  Remember to hop back here on Friday for my weekly update post!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Customer Inspiration - Sarah's beautiful desk!

Hello and welcome to Tuesday customer inspiration where I showcase something a customer has purchased from Jubilee Furniture and either how fabulous it looks in their home exactly as it looked leaving the store - or - how it's been transformed into something even more fabulous (which truly boggles the mind if you think about it).  Either way the point is to inspire you to think about used furniture in a new and creative way which in turn might motive you to walk into a local resale store (preferable Jubilee Furniture) where often the proceeds of what's sold is helping to support programs and services through some great organization (like Outreach Community Ministries) which in turn is often helping those most in need in your community.  Got it?  Good!  Let's begin!

Here's Sarah's email:

Hi.  My husband and I picked up this desk last December.  I never really liked the stain and the knobs didn't match, but it was a great price ($35) and a solid piece of furniture.  With the nice weather I finally got around to painting it and putting new knobs on (from Anthropologie).  I love it now and it works perfectly for my computer and to sew on.

Wow!  I love the crisp white paint and the orange flower knobs Sarah used!  What a lovely place to work!

Thanks so much for sending the photos, Sarah!

Have you purchased something from Jubilee Furniture that you'd be willing to take photos of and email me at sgalbraith@outreachcommin.org with the thought of inspiring others?  If so, that would be super!

You might have noticed I didn't have a post last Tuesday.  I didn't have anything to share and I've decided to only write a Tuesday post if I have customer photos to share.  Doesn't mean I don't love you, dear reader!

I hope to see you back here Friday morning for my weekly update!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday's customer inspiration - Caroline's rocking rocker!

Caroline's no stranger to either Jubilee Furniture or Tuesday customer inspiration (see for yourself here) so I wasn't surprised when her most recent purchase from the store was tweaked in such a way that made it seriously fun.  Here's her email:

Hi Susan!  Had to send you pictures of my recent acquisition.  I fell in love with this beautiful double wide rocker the moment I saw it on your blog online and when I came in the next day it was still there!  I only changed the cushion fabric to make it more "me."  

It's such a blessing to have a place to buy furniture at reasonable prices and it's a bonus knowing the proceeds go to such a great cause.

Thanks for all your hard work and for your blog that makes shopping fun for the rest of us!

Blessings - Caroline

I LOVE the zebra print with the classic mission style rocker which makes for such an unexpected and fresh pairing!  I got a chuckle out of seeing the Jubilee Furniture pink sold tag in the before photo!  Oh, Caroline - you do know how much I want to live in your home, right?

In case you aren't familiar with the "great cause" Caroline mentioned in her email let me fill you in.  Jubilee Furniture's proceeds are helping to support the programs and services offered through Outreach Community Ministries.  Outreach's mission is to restore hope and provide opportunities to those most in need in DuPage County.

Thank you so much for letting us see how you dialed up the "WOW" on your double rocker, Caroline!

With tons of donation pickups this week - you'll want to head back here Friday morning to get a glimpse of some of the new-to-us stuff the guys are picking up.  My goal is to have my Friday posts ready for your viewing pleasure by 9:00 a.m.!  I've been told by a number of people that if you're a "follower" you aren't getting notification of my posts until much later in the day.  I don't know why and if I need to do something on my end - I can't figure out what (and if you know what I should do, please tell me!).

Take care, dear reader!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday's customer inspiration - Luke and Emily's award winning night of the spinning table!

Actually the spinning table was a new character and had only a bit part in the annual Oscar party Luke and Emily have hosted for years.  This year's party was the largest yet with 64 adults and 46 kids (yep, you read that correctly 65 adults and 46 kids PLUS Luke, Emily and their three kids!) in attendance.  The small pine table has a great solid base and the top - for some unknown reason - was designed to spin, like a lazy Susan (on behalf of Susans everywhere I do want to start some type of formal protest again naming something that is highly functional, efficient and sorta cute a lazy Susan) and purchased it from Jubilee just a couple of days before the party when they realized they were short on places to set things.

When one of the kids realized that spinning the top when it held cups full of liquid resulted in flying cups and spraying juice - Luke and Emily might have wished that wasn't one of the table's features but from the photos below - it apparently didn't dampen the party (new character, bit part, flying liquid, dampen the party - am I on a pun roll or what?!).

Luke and Emily and both sets of parents are all regular Jubilee Furniture customers and Luke's dad, Gordon, is a key volunteer without whom we couldn't do what we do (Gordon does everything from help move furniture for the Thursday design team to load merchandise for customers to recycle our broken TVs, empty water bottles and pop cans).

Thanks for a fun peek into the night's festivities, Luke and Emily!

Before I sign off, I also got an email from Monique - another regular Jubilee Furniture customer - with the following plea:

Susan - I bought this chair a while ago at Jubilee Furniture and STILL haven not re-upholstery it.  Aside from the funkadelic print, it's covered in what can only be described as Muppet fur.  No, really, you can run a comb through it.

Perhaps your viewers have suggestions on where I can take my little monster to get some new skin?

Not sure why Monique wants to mess with perfection - but to each his own!  If you have any great ideas for Monique - please leave a comment.  She lives in DuPage County.

Have you purchased something from the store and are willing to take photos and email me (sgalbraith@outreachcommin.org) with the hope of inspiring others to see used furniture in new ways?  If so, that would be peachy!

The guys have fabulous pickups all week and I'll be back on Friday with photos of some of the funkadelic (what a great word!) furniture that's been donated!

Peace out, dear reader! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday's customer inspiration - Jennifer's jammin' Jubilee Furniture home!

Welcome to Tuesday customer inspiration where each week I showcase something someone has purchased from Jubilee Furniture and how fabulous it looks in their home - either exactly as it looked in the store - or - how it's been transformed into something even better with the hopes of helping others see used furniture in a new and creative way (and because I'm super nosy)!

This week I have lots of photos to share because Jennifer is a regular customer who has a fantastic eye and knows quality furniture when she sees it.  This busy mom of four volunteers each week filling in at the front desk at Wheaton Youth Outreach and Jennifer's husband is on the Outreach board - so they appreciate and value what we do and use key resources - time and money - to support us.

Here's Jennifer's email:

Hey Susan - I finally am sending you all the pics of my Jubilee purchases.  I LOVE MY STUFF from there!  Wow - I have a lot of stuff from there and hope to get some more great finds.  Jennifer

got this bar high table and chair set for the basement to use as a game table

fabulous Room and Board couch for our basement - great for watching TV or playing the wii 

this is an awesome outdoor bench we got from Jubilee - love benches

got this amazing Room and Board coach for our bedroom and the little leather ottoman (also from Jubilee) makes a great little side table for the couch

I got the rectangular table plus four chairs from Jubilee - two of the chairs I put with this round table I already had and the other two I added to four chairs - I also already had - around the rectangular table.  All the table and chairs needed was a new coat of black spray paint

a great little dresser that I got for my seven year old's room - she is a little pack rat and this is filled with toys and junk.  Wanted to send you a picture soon and I didn't even have a chance to get new hardware - that will happen eventually because one of the top drawers came without a knob

we love this side table between the two chairs that we got at Jubilee - the top flips over and on the other side is a checker/chess board and if you take the top off there is a backgammon board.  The drawer stores all the pieces that came with it - great little game table in our computer room

love this bistro table and chairs - they make for great extra seating in my family room (plus my kids like to eat snacks there while watching TV)

There's not much I don't LOVE about Jennifer's lovely - and - kid friendly home!  Pretty wall colors.  Fabulous kids' artwork on the walls.  Framed photo shelves.  Beautiful patio.  Clean lines.  No drapes or blinds.  Hardwood floors.  Jubilee Furniture in almost every room...

A huge THANK YOU to Jennifer!  

And thank you too, dear reader, for stopping by!   Hope you'll come back on Friday for my weekly update post! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday's customer inspiration - Kari's marvelous chairs!

Hello!  Welcome to this week's customer inspiration where we showcase something someone has purchased from Jubilee Furniture in order to inspire you to see used furniture in a new and creative way.

This week's inspiration needed minimum work to turn a ho-hum set of chairs into a beautiful dining experience!

Here's Kari's email:

Hi Susan!  I'm a big fan of Jubilee Furniture store and check your blog like clockwork every Friday for the latest goodies to come in.  I made a special trip out to you in November after spotting these chairs in the background of a photo on the blog.  Happily, they were still there - and a bargain at $55 for all 4.  I finally just got around to recovering them (and painting the table they are paired with!  It's like having a new dining room!).  Here are some before and after photos.

Thanks & we'll see you soon I'm sure!


What a cozy place to gather for meals!  I love all the different elements Kari's gathered together.  It makes for such an interesting - and lovely - space!

Many thanks, Kari - for taking the time to take photos and email me!

The guys have a wild, very full week of donation pickups - so I hope you'll be able to stop by on Friday to get a sneak peek, dear reader!

Until then...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday's customer inspiration - Jessie's spruced up dresser!

Today's customer inspiration is an excellent reminder that much of what you'll find at Jubilee Furniture needs only a small investment of time/work to take a piece from fine to fabulous!

I immediately saw the potential of this chest of drawers when it first arrived in the store even though it was missing some hardware.  Thankfully, the dresser was donated with a matching nightstand that was beat-up but had all the necessary hardware to complete the dresser.  I don't remember what I priced the dresser ($65? $75? $85?) but I do remember pricing the nightstand $15 and writing a note that whoever bought the dresser might want to buy the nightstand just for the hardware (since it's amazing vintage hardware well worth $15).  And the rest - you might say - is history!

Here's a before shot (note missing pull on top drawer and missing pulls on both doors)

Here's an up-close of the amazing hardware and the dresser looking all shining and wonderful!

This shot shows the three pull-out shelves behind the two doors and the way Jessie accessorized the top (extra appropriate given today's Valentine's Day!)

Here's Jessie email:

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the service you provide.  I have been putting the word out to all my friends and family that Jubilee is the best place to finds amazing thrift pieces.  Knowing I am not only shopping responsibly, but helping others is a great feeling.

Take care -


Wow - I couldn't have said it better myself!  

Thank you so much for sharing photos, Jessie!  The piece looks amazing!

To learn more about Tuesday customer inspiration and see previous posts, click on the Customer Inspiration  tab (you probably already knew that - eh).

I'll announce a contest we're going to hold showcasing the Hampton Inn fine-but-generic furniture with my weekly update post Friday morning.  Stay tuned, dear reader! 

Update: contest is on "hold" while details are hammered out!  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday’s customer inspiration is short on inspiration!

We’ve had a fairly good run of wonderful customers providing me with lots of photos of their amazing purchases from Jubilee Furniture…but, alas, our run has run out.  I’ve got nothing for you today but a thought.
The Hampton Inn in Carol Stream has been going through a complete hotel remodel which started last fall and will eventually result in 107 pieces of different furniture all in the same style/finish being donated to Jubilee Furniture.  There’s actually nothing wrong with the furniture as is – except it’s a little, ahem…hotel like!
Though we’ve priced the furniture incredibly low already, what if we offered you an even better deal – like 50% off – IF you agreed to do something creative with the piece and email me photos by the end of April.  Would you be interested?
Here are photos and the prices of the pieces:
back yard and Lake Geneva 10-27 & 28-11 047
one drawer night stand priced $18.50
back yard and Lake Geneva 10-27 & 28-11 039
one drawer chest priced $25
back yard and Lake Geneva 10-27 & 28-11 046
writing desk for $30; chair for $20
back yard and Lake Geneva 10-27 & 28-11 040
mirror for $10
back yard and Lake Geneva 10-27 & 28-11 045
upholstered chair for $30; ottoman for $15
This isn’t a fully formed idea – I’m just wondering if there might be interest. 
Update - still working on details around this contest!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday's Customer Inspiration - Jennifer's sunny chairs!

Jennifer grew up with a mom who is incredibly talented around design and re-purposing pieces with "good bones" and obviously - based on the following photos - has developed that muscle herself.  Here's Jennifer's email:

Hi Susan,  My mom, Amy, helps out at Jubilee occasionally (and alerts me of any great deals she sees when helping out/shopping...not sure what she does more of!).  Anyway, she bought a table/chairs set and she only needed the table...so I lucked out and scored the chairs!  Yay!  So I thought I'd send you some before and after pics. 

They were a little beat up and the fabric was definitely not for me, but I loved the sleek style and thought the unique "squiggle" backs and medallions gave them such personality.  I had originally planned to lightly sand and stain these, but they had some kind of super gloss finish to them and rather than spend hours sanding I opted to paint.

I used a mustard yellow paint (to coordinate with some artwork and other accents in the adjacent living room) and several coats and a topcoat later...here they are.  I added some new foam for padding and picked out a neutral (but interesting) fabric for the seats.  I'm loving my happy "new" dining room chairs.

P.S. I also bought a children's table/chairs set for my kids and I plan to use the leftover yellow paint on those chairs.  My husband is a little concerned I'm going to paint all the wood furniture in the house...haha, I just might!

Wouldn't it be fun to gather around that great looking table in that sunny spot on those amazing chairs?!  I absolutely love what Jennifer did!

A big THANK YOU to Jennifer!

Have you purchased something from Jubilee Furniture that you've transformed - as Jennifer did - and you'd be willing to take some photos and email me at sgalbraith@outreachcommin.org with the thought of inspiring others to see used furniture in a new way?  Or, have you purchased something from Jubilee Furniture and done nothing but dusted it off and gave it a new home in your house and you'd be willing to take some photos and email me at sgalbraith@outreachcommin.org with the thought of inspiring others to see used furniture in a new way?  If so - that's great!  Whatchawaitingfor?

Enjoy this good day, dear reader!