Monday, September 28, 2009

Light up my Laundry

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a vanity light for the laundry room for a while.  The other day we were at the Habitat Restore and I came across a cute brushed nickel fixture for nine bucks!  Score!

Here’s what we were living with, an icky shell sconce with brass backplate.  This picture doesn’t portray the ickiness adequately, just use your imagination:


So, with a little help from my handy father, I swapped the old for the new:


I even had to go buy more light yellow paint to repaint the stripes behind the plate!  But, I think it turned out quite nicely, what do you think?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Phase Four: My goodness, aren’t we out of phases yet?

Phase four, as we’ll call it, in the Great Den Decorating Process is complete.  Phase four was my inspiration bulletin board makeover!

My bulletin board, where I post my to do list, measurements, calendar, ideas, and general sewing paraphernalia, was just your basic bulletin board.  It came from my parent’s house where it used to hang in the kitchen beside the fridge where no one could actually reach it.  I stole rescued it and use it as a prominent display space in my sewing room.

After 20 years of suffering NC humidity, the glue was no longer sticking and the cork was bubbling up and looking sad.  The poor thing was just begging for an overhaul. 

Here is the before  (note: tragic details are not visible):


So, I took it down and scraped off all the old, stubborn cork.  Then I painted the frame a nice semi-gloss white:


The next step was to reapply new cork.  Since I had bought cork squares, that part was a little tricky.  I tiled them on and used spray adhesive to stick them down.  Then I upholstered it with white canvas.  That part didn’t work out so well…

Firstly, the canvas was too small (somehow, even though I measured); secondly, the edges of the fabric next to the frame were fraying (boo); and lastly, you could see all the seams in the cork through the canvas!  Arrrrgh!

So, being the resourceful chick that I am, I turned to the internet for advice and decided to upholster the bulletin board for real!

So, I took it all apart from the frame and backer.  Then I glued on a layer of quilt batting to cover the seams, and followed that up by stapling the canvas around to the back of the board.  Then I reapplied the frame and backer.



I covered the new fancy board with all my doodles and papers.  I even made some cute button pins by gluing push pins to the backs of cool buttons!  Me like.  The other special project is my old pink clipboard which I painted and decoupaged with scrapbook paper.  I even added an “S” so everyone knows who it belongs to. :)  It’s useful for holding all my inspiration photos which were just cluttering things up before.

Now, if I could just get some nice pale green paint on those walls, that white frame would pop! 

Lucky for you, my tutorial does not end here.  I have one more important lesson to impart.  The polyester batting plan was not so hot.  The board is way too fluffy and it prevents short pins from reaching enough cork to stick.  They just pop right back out!  So, for now, I’m using sewing pins instead.  Sad, I know.  (At least around the edges where the tension is higher, the cute pins still stay.)  Next time I’ll buy the cork on a roll to avoid the seams plus batting incident! (Or use thinner cotton batting instead.)

That concludes phase four.  Next up: art, I guess?  I’ll be getting around to that sometime in the near future.  Hope you are enjoying the tour of my den project!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Phase Three: Lighting

So, now that the big players are in place in the Great Den Decorating process, I got to work on some supporting cast.

Lighting… well the lighting in the den kinda sucks.  But I can’t afford a new ceiling fixture… I’m thinking drum shade pendant light?  Dunno.  Anyway, in the meantime, I got a lamp.  The same lamp that has been with me to college, an apartment and formerly lighted the living room in our house.

Exhibit A:


So to vamp it up a bit, I decided to paint it blue to match the couch.

A few coats of spray paint later, Mr. lamp is spiffy:


And that table he’s sitting on?  Well there’s a story behind that piece of furniture, too!

It was part of a great huge entertainment cabinet that my brother was getting rid of.  Here is what it looked like scattered in pieces in our garage:

cabinet top

That’s the top cabinet part up there.  Here’s the bottom part and its doors being painted:


So, those are some awesome before pictures, right? haha

Well, after determining that the cabinets together were far too large for our space, we decided to make a TV stand cabinet out of the bottom part.  It was a little a lot dinged up, so after we patched it with sawdust and glue (yeah, that’s right!) I painted it semi-gloss black:


And then I had my father cut a piece of MDF the size of the top and router the edge.  After several coats of paint and polyurethane, the top is ready for its accessories:


There you have it.  A salvaged piece of furniture for just the cost of paint!  Oh, and a fancy “new” lamp, too. 

How bout it?  You know you want one.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Phase Two! Finally!

The couch has arrived!

This morning we fought our reupholstered couch into the den.  After failing through two doors, we finally tried the front door and managed to manhandle it down the stairs into the den.  I say we, but clearly there was no Sarah-handling involved.

And there it sits in all its glory accompanied by the friendly flock of pillows.

You may remember the process of reupholstering that I told you about a few weeks ago.  Here’s another look at the adventure.




You can see that Mama did all the hard work while I took pictures.  :) I did put a few staples in on the bottom and I made all the piping!  I also helped remove the 50,000 staples, of course.


IMG_9066 IMG_9068

And VOILA!  Here is our new blue couch in its new home:

IMG_9147 IMG_9148


Thank you Mama for all your hard work on the lovely couch!


I’ll also take this opportunity to share my latest art project for the den.  These are a couple of butterfly prints that I decoupaged to stretched canvas and then displayed over the couch.

Michael helped me pick which butterflies to use.  How sweet!

Here they are, up close:


That completes phase two of the Great Den Redecorating Process.  Stay tuned for more updates as I bring you a lamp makeover and the upholstered bulletin board project! 

How do you like it so far?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Phase One and a half: Buttons

So, I am in the process of phase two of the Great Den Decorating Process which happened to be some art and the bulletin board makeover.  The first set of art is done (I’ll be bringing you that tantalizing tidbit soon) and I have begun destructing my giant cork bulletin board.  I was halfway through the reconstruction phase when I realized I require tools that I don’t possess.  So, I’m going tomorrow to acquire such implements to finish the job. 

Meanwhile, I found the perfect buttons to complete my envelope pillows that I showed you last time.

Here is the completed pillow, I love the coconut buttons!


Here is the inspiration for those pillows from Pottery Barn:

pb pillow

Pretty good, huh?  Mine’s prettier!  Plus I saved about half the cost of buying the PB ones!  Oh yeah, two for the price of one! :)

The couch delivery has been waylaid until Sunday, so hopefully I’ll be able to post updated pictures of the den, soon!  Stay tuned!