Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Funnies

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Funnies

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Before and Now the After - My Redecorating Project

Over the last few weeks I have been posting my condo redecorating project, step by step.  It's done for now, and I'm taking a break before I attack the downstairs half-bath and my upstairs bedroom/bath.  It has been just too hot here for me to think about anything this labor intensive.  I'll wait for the cooler fall days before I start another redecorating project.  In the meantime, I'm back to working on improving my etsy shops - they have been sorely neglected lately.

So here's the summary of what was done.

 BEFORE: Dining room area; kitchen off to the left, wall of windows on the right.  Targets for change: Wall color, rug
AFTER: New wall color is Behr Premium "Cafe Cream."  Photos here don't do it justice. It's not white, it's not beige; it's a soft cream color. (Makes me think of egg nog, of all things!)  I worked with the paint clerk to find a color with the warm recipe I was looking for. Cafe Cream has light yellow and brown tones in the mixture.  I sold three matching area rugs and purchased a light beige rug at Lowe's for $99.  My kind of price!
BEFORE: Targets for change: shelves, laminate counter
AFTER: New shelves - and a new autumn display.  Painted counters. See the counter tutorial here.
I like having the shelves so I can change out my display for the seasons. The current fall display is a combination of my old and new artwork and treasured gifts from friends and family. See how I put together these shelves here.
Foyer; living room to the left, front door to the right. Targets for change: wall color, door colors, corner shelf unit, lamp, wall decor
AFTER: Sold the torchiere lamp, painted the corner shelf unit and the door wreath, and rearranged the wall decor.  At least on my computer, the wall color here looks the closest to the actual color - "cafe cream".
Living Room; Targets for change: SOFA, floor lamp in background, stereo shelving, wall decor, shelf decor, rug
AFTER: Sold the floor lamp in the background, removed the stereo shelves, rearranged all wall and shelf decor, sold rug, painted and rearranged CD/DVD boxes on coffee table.  See the sofa tutorial here.
Targets for change: drapes, new top for my mom's vintage sewing machine base. I learned to sew on that machine.  (Please ignore the messy potting bench outside!)

 AFTER: See the sewing table tutorial here.
 AFTER: I decided not to replace all of my drapes. However, I added inexpensive white sheers and created simple tiebacks with burlap ribbon and rope.  The sheers refreshed the look so much that everyone thought I had replaced everything!
  Target for change: TV cabinet

AFTER: See the TV cabinet tutorial here

 Targets for change:  mirrored planter, framed wall decor

 AFTER: Mirrored planter repainted and faux etching removed, artwork reframed and rearranged.
Well, that's it. I think I covered everything I did. I'm SO pleased with how everything worked out. Alas, it has helped only minimally to give me more daylight for photography.  I hope these photos aren't too disappointing and capture my newly brightened interior well enough. 

 If you have any questions please comment here or send an email.  Thanks for listening!! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Funnies

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Redecorating Project - Target for Change: Sofa

This is my sleeper sofa. I bought it almost 20 years ago and I have hated it ever since.  Let me explain.  It is/was a rust color with three back cushions, and the cushions did not resemble what I saw in the store. They were unevenly stuffed and looked poorly sewn. I should have returned the sofa then and there, even though it was a custom order, but I didn't and have regretted it ever since.  I tried to find a photo of the original sofa but no such luck. 

A number of years ago I ordered new bottom cushion covers and the throw pillows you see here from a local seamstress.  It didn't exactly match the original sofa, but close enough.  The problem was that the back pillows were not substantial enough to support anyone who sat down.  The beige you see here is a slipcover I added later.  

You're probably wondering why I just didn't buy a new sofa.  Well, I had paid a pretty price for this one and just couldn't justify spending more money because of my mistake. So I lived with it -  until now.  I decided to paint it.  You heard me - I painted it!

(It's not the first time I painted upholstered furniture - I painted two of my chairs. Read about it here.)

But first I had to deal with the cushions ... 

I decided I was going to make my own new cushions because I knew just what I needed.  I found this fabric and was thrilled because it incorporated the colors I was already using in my home, and it was French, just as with my new TV stand images.

There are no photos of this process because, quite frankly, I was wingin' it the whole time! I have sewn since I was a kid and that skill has saved me many times. (Thanks, Mom.) What I did was start with a foam cushion I bought on Amazon (4" X 24" X 72") which I then cut into three pieces for my cushions. I then designed the three covers to fit across the sofa, with plenty of room for the stuffing. 

I then stuffed my sewn pillow form with polyester fiberfill, but only on the front side of the foam piece so that the back of the cushion would be flat against the back of the sofa as you can see here. 

 Once I was satisfied with the cushions, I moved on to the painting.

By the way, this isn't going to be a very detailed tutorial, because I was so caught up in what I was doing that I didn't think to take enough photos. And I was only using techniques that I learned from other bloggers who were much more thorough than me.  I followed this tutorial in particular.  

I used her same chalk paint recipe for the sofa.  I started with a Valspar paint called Betsy's Linen, but it wasn't exactly the right color - I wanted it to match the background of the cushion fabric.  So I went back to the store and a patient paint clerk played with the mix until we got it just right.  Perfect!  

Make no mistake - painting stuffed furniture is messy!  The first coat requires that you spritz the sofa with water first, working in sections.  Here's the first coat almost finished (the unpainted side shows the original color of the sofa). 

Here's the second coat. Much better!! 

The original sofa fabric is smooth, so the paint went on quite easily.

The cushions I had custom made a few years ago are a textured nubby finish so painting them was a little tougher.  There was a nice surprise, however, that I had forgotten about until I took the slipcovers off.   You'll see what I mean a little later.

Once I had everything painted and thoroughly dried, I used light sandpaper on the sofa itself but not on the cushions. The sofa fabric is smooth and it now feels somewhat like leather.  The nubby cushions didn't take to sandpaper; I didn't want a distressed finish!

And we're all done!

Here's the surprise I mentioned earlier.  I had completely forgotten that the custom bottom cushions had one side finished in blue-green. I decided to leave it because it works perfectly well as an alternative to all-white.  I was thrilled to discover that it matched!


I'm very pleased at how this worked out.  The first question I get from everyone is "how does it feel?"  I don't find it uncomfortable at all. This sofa was never soft and squishy to begin with, so it is a little stiff but smooth. Because of the fabric, the cushions are rougher but they were that way before they were painted. Not uncomfortable to sit on, but I don't think I would want to lie down on them with bare skin against the cushions.  The second question I get is "Does the paint come off on your clothes?"  If you have ever tried to remove dried acrylic paint from anything, you know the answer to that.  I can even use mild soap and a damp cloth to remove smudges.  

If you have more questions, the blogger I referenced above also did a one-year followup to her sofa makeover and answers a lot of questions here.  If you're thinking of trying it yourself, do a Pinterest and Google search and you'll have more information than you need.

Next post: A final look at my redecorating project. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016

Redecorating Project - Targets for Change: Sewing Stand, Wall Shelves, Mirrored Planter

Here's three quick re-dos as part of my overall redecorating project.

Last summer, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this pile my neighbor put out for the trash.  At the time I didn't know what it was, but it was good, clean wood and I wasn't about to pass it up.  Score! Turns out these were bed slats for an Ikea bed.  I have been using them for various projects ever since. 

This is my Mom's sewing machine stand.  I have very early memories of learning how to sew on this when it was still a pedal sewing machine.  Mom eventually moved up to a more modern electric machine, but she kept this stand and I inherited it when she passed. 

I wanted to make a new top for it, so I stained four of those bed slats and secured them with cross pieces underneath

 I wanted to acknowledge Mom somehow, so I scanned a page right out of our family genealogy albums.  Mom has always sewn her own clothes, and I guess during the 1920s-1930s she liked having her picture taken! 

I added these cute little tiles purchased from an artist friend, and a few sewing related tins I own. 


And done!


I also used three of the slats to make new shelves for my dining room wall.  My previous configuration was just a bit too much and I wanted something simpler.  

 I knew I wanted some kind of hardware for the shelves, so I wandered the aisles at Lowes and Home Depot (one of my favorite things to do).  I saw these and thought, "why not!"  These are handrail brackets.  They had both brass and oil rubbed bronze brackets, but the brass were $2 cheaper.  I bought the less expensive brass - there's nothing a can of spray paint can't solve!  Done!

The final project for today is my mirrored planter. I removed the fake etching on the mirror and repainted the whole unit.  Easy peasy!


My next post will involve THE biggest target for change: my sleeper sofa.
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