Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Home Schooling Shop Class 101

I'll tell you what, if good old SHS had offered me a furniture flippin' class I might have dropped welding class and saved my welding partner a burn or two. 

Meet Summer and her oldest son Garrett of Rénover - Upcycling & Restoration.  Summer is a busy single mom of three who home schools her two youngest sons.  She has had a passion for furniture, auctions, junking and makeovers her whole life.  She grew up in her Grandma Jane's upholstery shop and furniture is in her bloodline.  Her mom also ran an upholstery shop and is a talented seamstress, too.  This "furniture gene" has found it's way into the 4th generation of the family, Summer's children.

Right before her oldest son Garrett entered into his middle school years they started doing their Summer time shop class.   She taught him how to rebuild a bike and other mechanics.  From there they moved onto lessons in historical furniture, design, and all the "work" that went with it.  Such as, purchasing, stripping, sanding, repairing, painting and even more modern techniques and styles as they go.  Garrett loves ‘junking” too!  Some things they sell,  some they keep, but the money really goes right back into supplies and new pieces.  Summer has a rule to try to never spend more than $20 on a piece of furniture.  Most of them are $5 or under.  They take pictures of their work in chronological stages for a journal along the way.

Today we are going to check out what they did to an old vanity purchased for $10 at a yard sale.  Here's the before...

It was missing entire chunks of wood on the leg, a caster, and it had tons of scratches and damaged veneer.  Summer and Garrett could see past all of the years of wear and knew it would be beautiful once again.  Together they repaired the damage and chose gorgeous colors for the vanity.  

Here's how she looks today...

There is more to this story.  Summer was diagnosed with Lupus a year ago and is now finished recovering from two surgeries.  She is learning to cope with the daily struggles of fatigue, pain and just generally not wanting to do anything.   Each day she would challenge herself to do a little more.  On this vanity makeover she also focused on letting 13 year old Garrett take on more independent work as she supervised.  It was with joint effort that this piece slowly came together.   Summer adds that this was a very personal piece for her because her mother had a beautiful vanity that she used a bit through high school, and she always wanted one for herself.    She said she was downright "giddy" to see it finished.

How's that for life lessons through home schooling and furniture makeovers?  Summer is raising herself a very fine young man in Garrett.  The skills and passion she is instilling in him...very inspiring.  I can't wait until Garrett submits a flip of his very own without Mom's help!  I'm sure it won't be long!  Great job Garrett and Mom!

You can see more of this makeover on Rénover - Upcycling & Restoration's Facebook page.  Be sure and let Summer & Garrett know you saw their vanity on Furniture Flippin'.  If you aren't a Facebook person, comments are ALWAYS welcome here on the blog.  Each of us involved in Furniture Flippin' appreciate the encouragement you provide with your words.

Thanks Summer & Garrett for sharing with us your amazing furniture flip!


  1. Absolutely marvelous story! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Beautiful transformation and a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love it, and I the story behind it. Thanks for sharing.


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