Recovering our Couch

About a year ago Joe and I purchased a couch in Portoviejo. It needed to be love seat size because our salon is not very wide. It was expensive at over $600 and we had to pay for delivery as well.  After just a few short months the leather type material started to flake off.  We would find it clinging to our arms, legs and clothing as well as all over the floors in the house. What a pain!

IMG_3000It really looked crappy and covering it with a throw made it even crappier.  I remembered that Patricia McKinsey had introduced me to a man in Charapoto that recovered the cushions from her patio. I had my neighbor and friend Helena Zambrano, David’s wife, take me over to help with the translation and to pick out the new covering.  He agreed to recover the couch for $250. and would be completed by August 15th.  Today it was delivered way early and we have our couch back and it is beautiful and it is RED.

IMG_3018What a professional job.

Furniture Refinishing

When we purchased this house it came with several pieces of furniture, all good wood pieces. Two round dining tables, eight stools, 4 bedside tables, two full size beds as well as two bunk beds and two low benches. Most of the pieces were looking a bit worn, splattered with paint and basically in sad shape. Like I said good wood but visually unattractive due to neglect. I spoke with Patricia about having them refinished. What a difference. The wood maestro who has his business just a few short blocks from our house, did a beautiful job of taking something that looked battered and made it look exceptional.

These are the before pictures:

These bedroom tables were missing the drawers. I really don’t like drawers in this climate because everything smells musty after sitting inside a closed drawer. I had the maestro fit this with a piece of wood like a little shelf. It works great and looks so much better than having a gaping hole where a drawer should be.

The one table was the worse of all the pieces, between the wood on the top being separated and uneven, gouges, paint splatters and the pedestal split it looked ready to fall apart.  I did not know if repairs were going to bring it back to its original condition.

The stools were used for many purposes looking at the wear and tear but for $160 the maestro has transformed my furniture into what you see below.

Right now we are pretty short on places to put anything. Ecuadorian houses do not have closets and we actually have almost no storage at all. We did open the one kitchen cupboard into the bedroom making it the only closet in the house and are using the one bunk bed in our bedroom as shelving to hold our clothes and the second bunk bed for food and kitchen supplies. It is not perfect but it is working.

It was worth having these pieces refinished and repaired and Joe and I will get many years of use out of them. On to the next project!


Some of the most beautiful work is done by the woodworkers in this area. The first photo is of cabinet work in a villa we looked at in San Jacinto.

Here is another example of some outstanding work. These are built to fit the back of a pick up truck. If transporting fish a fiberglass liner is added to protect the wood. Freddy told me this cost $500 to be made and installed on the back of your pickup. I see these around town that look to be very old but are still in great shape. I have been told that they use a very hard wood.

This work is being done a block from our house. I was impressed with the craftsmanship in all of these examples. The owner of the house we are currently renting is the gentleman so expertly wielding the machete.

And for my final example take a look at the beautiful worktable I had built for my kitchen. This beautiful 5 ft table made from a beautiful hard wood and stained to look very natural cost me $70.