October 31, 2012

cane chair makeover

Good gracious. I've been cussing more than usual and my hands look like I've been working on a barge. This can mean only one thing - I'm reupholstering again.

Remember these beauties?

Oy what a labor of love they became. They took far longer than I had planned. I'm distracted easily. But wahoo, they are finished. Now no sense in prolonging the reveal even longer, let's get to it.

First step was stripping both chairs, some very light sanding and then painting them black. For some reason I had always envisioned these painted white, but my mom suggested black and I think it was a rather smart choice. Good work Jan.

newly painted chairs against my newly painted walls
Now compared to the couch, this project was a dream. No guessing on what part of the furniture to start with or thinking ahead about how each section would relate to the other. Nope. There is a seat and there is a back. Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

The outside back goes first. I made sure to rip off the old fabric pieces as much in tact as possible to use those pieces as templates for my new pieces.

The hubs helped me out on the inaugural cut.
These chairs have the same grooves as the couch did so following the staple line was really straight forward. After stapling the piece in place, I trimmed off the excess.

That band in the middle of the chair was there when I stripped the fabric. It is sturdy as can be and helps to keep the front cushion from pushing thru the back of the chair. If the first upholsterer was smart enough to put that in, who am I to argue? So back in it went.

With the outside back in place, next came the inside back... or the front back. The terminology on this chair got very confusing. Luckily the back cushions were in great shape, so I could reuse them. Score.

that's fabric. laying on top of a piece of foam. photographic genius.
After stapling and more stapling, I landed here. Staples showing but piping was in the works.

The base below the seat cushions were easy as well. Just a matter of covering the old base and stapling. Just like wrapping a present. Or riding a bike. Pick your analogy. And a cheat I made - you can see the rip in the fabric in the very back of the seat. I ran out of fabric. But a cushion is going over top of this so I didn't sweat it. If you come over and pull up your seat cushion to see the 'not all the way covered' base I'll be happy to pay for the extensive therapy you'll need to get over the horror. I'm a generous host.

Next up came the cushion. And as many of you know, I'm not sewing. I bought a sewing machine, but haven't yet taken it out of the box. Don't judge. There have been a lot of good Real Housewife franchises that require my attention. So, I sent them out to a local genius by the name of Catherine Healey (if you are local let me know and I'll give you her info). She made my cushion vision a reality.

I couldn't be happier with my little babies. Two words - contrast piping.

I also used some of the leftover piping for the back cushions. No more staples.

And with that, these chairs went from this

to this

Holla! Big difference.

A few things I learned this time around.

Although the couch was far more daunting in size, this project seemed to be harder because there are two. So everything I did, had to be done again. A big downer when you are on your third straight night of staple pulling and your hand is turning into a claw.

A chair like this, which doesn't have to be a 'central/big furniture' piece is the perfect opportunity to have some fun with fabric and patterns. For example, check out the fabulous junk in this chair's trunk.

This chair looks just as good from the back as it does from the front. And from their position in the living room they will be enjoyed from both directions. (more on that with the living room reveal)

And most importantly, embrace color. Live a little. It's good for the soul.

And now, just like with childbirth, I will promise that I will never again go thru the labor of reupholstering. Until this weekend when I see a sweet little chair in need of a little love.

And please keep your thoughts and prayers with everyone in the northeast who are dealing with the effects of Sandy.

October 30, 2012

buffalo soldier

Do you think Bob Marley had any buffalo check pillows? Where does 'buffalo check' come from anyway? Totally off topic. Moving on...

Many of you were super curious about this teaser pic I shared last week.

Well, I would love to say that these beauties are now sitting pretty in my dining room but actually I recovered them for a client. I'm working with a cute and energetic young family on their new to them house. We'll call them Family F (for fun).

Mrs. F inherited her mom's dining room furniture and wanted to give it a refresh for her family. Here is what we started with.

The chairs are in great shape, but the fabric had seen one too many dinners.

We are going to be working with blues thru out the kitchen, dinning room and living room so this navy and white buffalo check was a great base. Me and Mrs. F love a good buffalo check.

Now there are 6 of these suckers, so it took me the better part of a week to get them all done. Sadly though I didn't take pictures during the process. Bad blogger. I was just too busy concentrating.

But no worries, I'll reenact it for you - unscrew, rip fabric, pull staples, many staples, cut fabric, attach new foam, staple fabric, staple more, re-screw. Repeat. Thank god for Bravo and DVR.

There were many squeals and happy jigs when the chairs were delivered. And Mrs. F loved them too!

I love a good furniture refresh! This room is off to a great start and I'll be sure to share more as it progresses.

So what about you? Any fabrics or patterns you are in to lately? C'mon now, wouldn't these look great in my dinning room?

October 29, 2012

20 minute bench makeover

And she lives!

Thank you all for your get well soons while I was out. That was no doubt the worst flu I've had in...as long as I can remember. I wouldn't say I'm back to 100% yet, but 85% will do. I've heard that the flu shot isn't so strong this year, but I'd still say get one if you can. Although, people seem to have strong opinions about wether or not to get flu shots. Have you ever said 'flu shot' in a crowded room? Oy! Anyway, do what you can to stay healthy.

As I ease myself back into the standing position I thought I'd share a simple DIY that took all of 20 minutes. (my favorite kind)

I picked this bench up off the side of the road (better than a hitchhiker) and then promptly put it in my basement for the next two years. Par for the course, I know. These are the only true before pictures I have.

I don't even want to know what the stain on that seat is from. Dirty. Ugly. But sturdy.

I sprayed it white and used some of the fabric I shared here. A few staples later and as NeNe would say, Bam!

I love the color and pattern on this fabric but thought it was a bit too delicate to have as a pillow in this house. Who knows if a bench will keep it safe any better than a pillow would, but we shall see.

It appears to be a wonderful place to sit and look out the window with friends.

Mother tested. Kid approved.

This bench will be residing in the living room. Along with several other things that have been finished and added. This week I'll be featuring a completed project everyday. I feel bad about the big tease last week and then bailing last week.

So how was your weekend?

October 25, 2012


Sorry I've been MIA y'all. (I swear this wasn't part of my 'teasing' plan). This flu is no joke!! I'm going on day two and still no better. I'll be back as soon as the room stops spinning.

via Tumblr

October 23, 2012

guest post - the pink pagoda

I'm over at my girl Jennifer's today for her 31 Days of Pink series. Lovely pink in all it's shades of goodness. And there is a reveal of sorts on there too (boy am I teasing again?!).

Check it out!

October 22, 2012

rollin' down the river

I've been workin' it like Tina in her best leather mini skirt all weekend long. And I've got the pictures to prove it. Here are some sneak peeks...

More on all of these things in the coming days.

Now I need a weekend to recover from my weekend! Did you do anything exciting? Jump in any leaf piles? Discover that you love cucumber water? Me too!

October 18, 2012

industrial sleepover

I've been in need of a new bedside table. The one I used in my bedroom reveal was on loan from my daughters' playroom. Turns out, they didn't think it was as wonderful next to my bed as I did. So back downstairs it went and the hunt was on.

At least though I knew what to look for because that table taught me I need more space. I don't know about you, but I keep a lot of crap important stuff by my bed and as dreamy (ha, no pun intended) as cleaning off my night stand on a regular basis sounds, it's not happening.

So more storage was needed. But also, I wanted something different. Something certainly different than anything I had. Nothing that screamed 'hello, I'm a bed side table. Won't you lie down?'

A tall order but nothing I can't find after a little digging. And right around my birthday, this table was found at a local shop, by the same name actually - found. Happy Birthday to me! It had plenty of storage and an industrial/vintage feel. This sucker can take a beating. Not that I'm particularly abusive with my furniture, but you know.

Getting this table for my birthday ment I've had it since July. So why haven't I posted about it until now? Because I wanted to live with it for a while. See how I liked it and get a feel for what I would want to do to it, if anything. I was waiting for my table to talk to me.

And now that I've lived with it I'm thinking I want to fresh it up just a bit. Specifically its color.

Ever since I picked up this orange greek key tray in Florida, I'm thinking orange might be the way to go. Pretty surprising I know since we all know my fears about orange. I must be growing. Or drunk.

So, what say you? Know of any good orange spray paint colors? I've got to have spray paint - can you imagine brushing this sucker? Any other color ideas?

October 17, 2012

guest posting at living savvy

I'm 'out of the office today' helping out my friend Tiffany while she moves into her fab new house. I'm talking about my 5 favorites of fall, and I'll give you a hint - they are good.

October 15, 2012

rug-less dining rooms

I'm currently working on a little experiment in the dining room. As much as I love that big chunky sisal rug, it is a pain in my arse. It is not very easy to clean when little ones drop their food and it sheds like a...something that sheds a lot. It's like having another dog in the house.

So after cursing at it and complaining about it, I had the hubs help me to roll it up and take it out. Just to see how it felt.

And so far I'm loving it. It's like cutting off all your hair, or a long hot shower after a camping trip. I feel lighter, and my vacuum is happy for a rest.

I was a bit perplexed about a room without a rug but the more I see it around, the more I like it.

Home of Tanja Vibe via Pinterest
Anna Spiro
Bailey McCarthy
Nate Berkus via Pinterest
Elle Decor via Pinterest
So, a dining room without a rug (gasp). What do you think?

October 10, 2012

now that's a deal

Have I got a treat for you.

BirdAve is sharing the love! If you are a follower of this site, (just click on the blue 'Join this site' button to the right there), you can use the code BIRDAVE25 to get a 25% discount on the print of your choice. These are so reasonably priced already, this is a great deal!

Here are some of my faves.

Christmas is closer than you think. Now is your chance to get a jump on your Christmas list like you always swear you will do but never get around to doing. Check them out!

October 9, 2012

gallery wall update courtesy of BirdAve

Hey all! The gallery wall has gotten a spruce.

I was lucky enough to win a print from BirdAve Studio via Pawleys Island Posh right before my vacation and I finally got around to hanging it up.

It was hard to pick just one, and I'll definitely be getting more, but out of all the cities from all over the world I decided on Des Moines. Because of it's world class nightlife and excellent shopping of course. Actually it's where the hubs and I met (college) and it is a very happy place with very happy memories.

A great addition to the corner and one of the many perks of a gallery wall - the more the merrier. There is always room to add another special piece.

So how about you? Did you get to gettin' on any projects this weekend? Did you see the RHONJ reunion?  There aren't words for those ladies.

More spruces to come!

October 4, 2012

paint a rug party - week 3 reveal

Happy Paint a Rug Party Reveal Day! Did you get the day off work? Just you wait, next year it will be a national holiday.

I've had three weeks to put this sucker together (catch up on week 1 and week 2 if you missed it) so let's see what we've got.

First, to answer the question from last week. The votes were a lot tighter than I thought (thanks to everyone who shared their opinion), with Navy/White squeaking out a win. However, I forgot about one important voter - the hubs. He came home that night and said 'yeah, I don't want a pink rug.' I was so impressed that he actually read it, that I gave him the deciding vote. So Navy/White it is. (Don't worry, you'll be seeing the raspberry somewhere else soon)

As I mentioned in week 1 I read thru a few tutorials and decided what I would need to make this happen. With the kids in bed and a nice cocktail in hand. I got started.

The rug was brand new ($9 from HomeGoods) so no cleaning was needed. If you were doing this with an existing rug, I would make sure you vacuum the crap out of that sucker before painting.
The first coat of paint needs to be the color under the tape (remember that whole negative space thing) so the white paint went on first. I just used some Kilz (in white) I had on hand and mixed it with one bottle of fabric medium. But I didn't measure it out exactly. I guess I'm more of a chef than a baker. Anyone who watches Top Chef knows this difference.

The first coat went on and I wasn't encouraged. The paint did not spread. At all. It basically just stays wherever you pour it. It took a lot of muscle to get that paint to spread at all. I tried both a brush and a roller and found that the brush is best to begin with to get in all the little crevasses. (with a sisal rug)  Then, finish off with the roller.

THREE coats later (2 coats with a brush and 1 with a roller), here is where the night ended.

With Step 1 complete, I let it dry overnight.

Next up. Tape.

I made my two base lines, making sure that the tape met right in the middle of the rug (the only measuring I did.)
I thought I'd have to measure out each piece of tape to make sure everything was consistant. But to my great pleasure, once I had the middle taped and knew that it was in the center of the rug, I realized I just needed to tape from that center outward in each section and they would all work out to be even.

So using my level as my spacer I taped out the first section.

It spaced out perfectly. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

It can get a bit confusing to keep track of which lines should go which way so it is best to think by section. The lines of each section should go the opposite way of the lines from the previous section. Clear as mud?

With the rug taped out, I pressed the hell out of that tape working to get it as tight as possible to limit bleed.

Then, I poured out my paint and fabric medium to mix together. Hmm, I could have sworn the paint chip I gave to Home Depot was Navy. This looks awfully...royal.

Worried about the color, I went ahead with the first coat. It covered only slightly better than the other paint, probably because there was already 3 coats of paint that had filled in some of the gaps in the rug. However, you still gotta put some muscle into it.

After the first coat it still looked more royal than navy. I tried not to freak out and hoped it would get darker once it was dry.

No dice. Not blue enough and not the color on the chip. Mistint. Not cool Home Depot. Not cool. Luckily my brilliant hubs suggested we add some left over Farrow&Ball black to darken it up a bit. Extra birthday present for you my dear. So I mixed in some black and arrived at a color I think I want to market. I will call it Midnight in St. Louis. It will sell like hot cakes.

Much better. Just like with the white, I went ahead and did three coats of the blue as well. I let it dry, again, over night. Then pulled off the tape to discover this.

Wahoo! I was actually really impressed with how well the tape did to prevent bleed. There are a few spots that could use some touch ups, but I've decided I kind of like the imperfections. And I'm not at all saying this because I'm tired of painting this sucker.

It looked so good I decided it was the perfect addition to the kitchen.  It's happy and does a great job of hiding all of the things that someone seems to drop in front of the sink.

It also feels a lot better under foot than I had anticipated. Not sticky and maybe even a little less scratchy that plain old sisal.
I'm glad I did this and I'm happy with how it turned out. I say give it a try. It's much easier than you would have thought. Thanks Linda for thinking this fun up!

Now let's go check out how all the other ladies did!

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