Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm a Reupholstery Virgin

I know it is silly, but I've always been intimidated by the process to get furniture reupholstered. I was overwhelmed by all the variables in price depending on the size, shape, condition of the chair, and the fabric selection. Much easier to go shopping for a brand new piece of furniture with a price tag already attached and delivery time in x days, right?

But then I fell in love with this chair while thrift shopping with a friend recently.

She convinced me that getting something professionally reupholstered is really no big deal. And so far, it hasn't been.

I started by contacting two well known businesses in my area. To my surprise, all they needed to provide estimates were some pictures. I emailed them my photos and bam! I got two estimates back within 24 hours. What was surprising was how different the estimates were.

Place # 1: $400 for the labor (fabric costs not included) and 6 yards of fabric

Place # 2: $575 for the labor (fabric costs not included) and about 7 yards of fabric. $10 a yard additional charge to use customer's own fabric.

Lesson: It pays to get more than one quote!

So my next step was to find fabric for my new-to-me wingback which will be going in our bedroom once he's all clean and new.  My dear and patient sister-in-law agreed to go fabric shopping with me, which was probably very frustrating for her because I had no idea what kind of fabric I wanted.  Three stores later, I found it: an off-white, chunky, cotton weave. Admittedly, my fabric choice isn't very exciting, but it is going to be perfectly soft and soothing in my bedroom.  And it was on sale--only $6 a yard in a JoAnn Fabrics sale bin.

The wooden legs were in rough shape, so I refinished them in a dark mahogany (the reupholsterer would have done this, but for an additional cost). Btw, I used Minwax Polyshades which is a one step stain and polyurethane. You don't even need to strip the old surface, you just lightly sand and brush Polyshades right over it.

Now all I need to do is schedule a pick up with the reupholster and wait 7-10 days! Piece of cake and relatively inexpensive too. All in, my new chair will cost about $500.

Now that I have a better idea about what the process entails and how much I can expect to spend, I won't hesitate to pick up a thrift store find that is in need of a good makeover.  Will you?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quick Fix

As we're slowing watching our powder room transform, it occurred to us that the mudroom could use a little sprucing up while we're at it.  Our original plan was to hold off on touching the mudroom until we do our kitchen renovation, but that is still years away in the budget.  As you'll see, it wouldn't hurt to show the mudroom a little love in the interim.

***Warning! These pictures aren't pretty!***

Here's the plan:
Lay $60 worth of peel and stick black and white vinyl tile over the existing linoleum.

Repair peeling walls

Paint beadboard, walls, and trim bright white and remove the antiquated alarm system. 

Figure out a more organized solution to hang our coats. 

Hopefully the result will be a cleaner, brighter, and more organized space for about $100 and   just a few days of labor.

Would you take the time to fix up a room if you knew your changes were only temporary?

Monday, April 25, 2011


Remember when Chris and I were debating whether or not to purchase decorative water supply lines for our powder room remodel? Well, we took your advice and ordered this one from Vintage Tub and Bath. We liked the porcelain "H" and "C" on the knobs (and truth be told, it was also the least expensive. Why spend so much money on something that you'll hardly ever see???).

Imagine our delight when the package arrived and we saw that in addition to the chrome and porcelain knobs, that it also came with solid porcelain ones!

We can't decide which we like better, maybe we'll switch them out seasonally :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Friday, April 22, 2011

Marvelous Marble Mosaic

Our powder room has a floor!

Even before we moved into our home on Hazard Ave, we knew we wanted a marble tile floor in the powder room. In fact, we were probably at the tile store less than a week after we signed the purchase and sales agreement browsing for ideas and to get an idea on pricing. Fast forward to almost a year later and our our loosely laid idea for a marble tile floor is a reality.

Chris started the process by dry fitting the tiles to get an idea on measurements.  We went with honed Bianco Carrara marble.

He then clearly marked out the pattern on the sub floor.

Next, he used thinset to lay the subway and mosaic tiles, leaving the outer border clear. Knowing he'd need to kneel in the middle of the floor to lay the outside border, he let the thinset dry overnight.

Day 2, I found Chris in the garage cutting down 12x12 inch tiles in half to use on the perimeter.

It's a nice fit.

 In goes the new marble threshold. Don't you just love the transition into the linoleum floor???

Day 3, Chris applies the grout. We chose TEC AccuColor unsanded grout in Dove Gray.

Wiping off the excess. I admit, I was a little nervous that the grout was going to dry this dark.

It is a million times better than the shag carpeting that was here before, wouldn't you say?

Stay tuned...hopefully, the next time you see this bathroom it will be for the big reveal!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thrifting Finds

Last weekend I went shopping with a friend of mine who was visiting from out of town. We went to all the usual spots, and ended up at my local Salvation Army. They had a huge selection of furniture.

The upholstery on this sofa has definitely seen better days, but we really liked its clean lines. The sofa and matching loveseat was $150 for the set. 
The fabric on this one was also really gross, but the chair had a great shape. Only 20 bucks. 

This solid wood chest of drawers was a great deal at $70.

This handsome wingback chair came home with me. It will go in our master bedroom after I have it recovered. It was only $30.

This little guy also came home with me. I'm not sure yet where we will put it, but at only $30 I couldn't pass up its potential.

Won't it look great reupholstered with one fabric on the inside and a different, coordinating fabric on the outside?

My lucky friend snatched up this smart buffet for only $120. It is in perfect condition, just needs to be refinished or painted. 

Sometimes you find something, sometimes you don't. I'd say that this time, we totally scored! 
Now I just have to figure out how to go about getting a chair reupholstered...

Have you have any luck lately finding the perfect piece of furniture at your local thrift store? 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh, The Irony...

Choosing what is arguably the most important element in a bathroom took Chris and I the least amount of time to reach a decision on.

I think that's a record, folks.

How do you make decorating decisions in your household? Is it a team effort, or do you have carte blanche?

Participating in:

Mingle 240

Friday, April 15, 2011

Crowning Glory

My poor hubs has been working tirelessly on the powder room. Last week he finished up the beadboard and trimwork and has since moved on to the crown molding.

He started by painting the ceiling blue to match the wallpaper we chose.

 I helped out by putting a first coat of paint on the molding.

Chris used two different pieces of trim to give the molding a chunky layered look. If you look very closely at the photo below, you can see that our ceiling isn't level. For anyone who has attempted to hang crown molding, you can appreciate how this makes it so much more difficult to mitre all the cuts.

Here's a shot with the second layer up and the nail holes and seams caulked.

Here's how it looks after a final coat of paint.

My dear readers, you are probably sick and tired of watching our bathroom progress, but stay tuned, we're just getting to the good stuff!

Still to do:
Install sink, toilet, and radiator
Hang wallpaper
Connect electricity and hang light fixtures

Linking to

Tatertots and Jello

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Trad Home

Am I the last to know about the new online magazine Trad Home? Wow, was I in for a treat when I received the email announcement! Trad Home is a collaboration between Traditional Home magazine and Lonny.  Its updated edge is exactly what I've been looking for to decorate my own very traditional home.
Feast your eyes on some of my favorites from the issue...
I'm OBSESSED with this fabric.

Check out the blue ceiling
I love this chandelier
Lots of turquoise and orange
Barstools, you will be mine. Oh yes, you will be mine.

Trad Home is chock full of eye candy. Have you picked your favorite room yet? 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blind Blogdate

One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to virtually meet so many wonderful and talented people who share my interests in remodeling and decorating. Imagine my delight to receive an invitation from Casey, the lovely interior designer and blogger of loft and cottage to attend a Stella and Dot party at her home.  Casey also invited the adorable Sarah of pewter + sage and so it became an mini blogger meet up.

Fast friends: Myself, Casey, and Sarah.

(btw, I honestly don't know what is going on in this picture. Are Sarah and I showing off Casey's beautiful handmade pillows or are we trying to smother her with them???)
Casey's 100 year old home is amazing. I love her style and the way she's mixed and matched colors and pattern throughout her space, so imagine how excited I was to win a decorating consult raffled off by Casey at the party! YIPPEE! I never win ANYTHING! Seriously, this is better than winning the lottery.

Little does she know the kind of challenge she's signed on for...

Ladies, it was wonderful to meet you and I already can't wait until next time!

Btw, today I am linking our french door project to

The DIY Show Off
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