Archive of ‘Furniture’ category

DIY Striped Upholstered Headboard

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Yay! I’m excited to be typing out this post today. I have been thinking about and dreaming about making this headboard for months, but it kept getting put on the backburner until finally we made it happen last week!

Check out the before…

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And after!

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The fresh gray stripes make the bed look more sophisticated and elegant but still fun (which is very important). I had to take off the floral print pillow shams though, as they were competing a little too much visually with the stripes. It was just a little too much to take in! So I’m planning to switch out the bedding for neutral colored bedding, but maybe with a little more texture to contrast with the stripes.

And the headboard was actually pretty easy to do. I love that this really trendy look is so easy to DIY, making it approachable for most of us.

First you cut a sheet of plywood the size of your headboard. We wanted a thicker, more substantial headboard, so we framed the back of the plywood out with 2×3’s.

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Then we cut out our foam to fit (not pictured) and secured it with hot glue. We actually cannibalized an old foam mattress for our foam. However, because the foam was thicker (about 1.75″), it was quite heavy and didn’t stick to the plywood that well. We didn’t want to use spray adhesive because it is quite high in VOCs, and we didn’t want to be breathing it in. We later solved the problem of the slightly loose foam by doing some simple button tufting.

After sticking the foam on, we wrapped the whole thing with polyester batting and then the fabric.

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I used 3 yards of Premier Prints Canopy Stripe Twill Storm. I wanted a vertical stripe though, instead of horizontal, so I cut the fabric in half and sewed it together right in the middle with a seam along one of the stripes. You can’t even tell it’s there =).

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We used a staple gun (and when our staple gun gave out, a hammer stapler), and tapped in any loose staples with a hammer.

This is how I folded the corners:

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I wrapped the extra folded fabric on the inside first and stapled that down…

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Then I folded the fabric right along the corner for a nice square corner.

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At this point we added some simple button tufting using a button kit from Joanns, an upholstery needle, and waxed button thread (or upholstery thread). I didn’t take pictures of this step but here’s a great tutorial. We put in just 10 buttons, and they worked great for keeping the foam tight and secure. The extra tightness also helped smooth out some of the wrinkles that I couldn’t iron out.

I’m really happy with the finished product! It makes me feel like I’m waking up in a hotel every day.

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I also feel like it is true to my personal style, which also makes me happy. It’s fresh, contemporary, and unfussy, but still elegant… Or at least I like to think so, ha!

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As for how it’s attached, it is hung on the wall with brackets but is also sitting on the bed frame behind the mattress.

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For some reason, the stripes remind me of Montreal. Kind of French-Canadian chic…=)!

Now for the bedding… I’m thinking of just going with a neutral taupe. I realize I love color way too much…and it’s best for me to add it in small doses with accessories rather than the big pieces. I think a taupe duvet cover will be a nice canvas for printed pillows, throws, etc… What do you think?

Sharing at MissMustardSeed, TatertotsandJelloRemodelaholic, SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee!

If I Had a Million Dollars…

It occurred to me lately that the guestroom pictures I have up on this site don’t reflect the current style of the guest room.

This is what it looks like now:

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I apologize for the harsh light but this was the only time of day I could find to take this picture…it’s been a busy day.

It used to look like this:

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I liked the red and white scheme for a while but decided I wanted something a little more grown up. Also, the bohemian sheer curtains were pretty but didn’t block any light…kind of the opposite of what you want in a bedroom. So I bought some ticking stripe fabric and clipped it up for curtains (just before my parents came to stay for a couple of weeks).

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There are some framed pictures in the chair that I haven’t gotten a chance to put up yet…

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I picked up this little mid century nightstand for $5 at a neighbor’s garage sale. I moved one of the old lamps from the master bedroom into this room.

This room is getting a little closer to where I want it to be. but there still needs to be a lot more COLOR added. I do like having a base of neutrals and adding colors on top of it. Unfortunately the budget doesn’t really allow me to go all out shopping for accessories, haha! Which brings me to my next point…

I sometimes wish I had unlimited funds to decorate, not necessarily to buy expensive stuff, but because it would be so much easier to get things consistently looking “my style”. Our current style is much more about finding thrifty deals, making them over, using what we have, building our own, etc… I sometimes wistfully think about HOW I would decorate a room if I could make it all over completely. It’s totally unrealistic, haha =). But on the other hand, there’s also something really cool about looking at the great things we’ve found for a song, and seeing how everything in our home has gradually gotten collected or created.

Like that mid century nightstand — I mean, it’s definitely a high to find something that cool at a garage sale for five bucks. Or for example, look at some of the really awesome things that Chris has created, like the rustic DIY dining table, or the industrial chandelier, or even the lamps that I just spray painted. If we had an unlimited budget we never would have found/created those things. So…I guess frugality begets creativity. And the real fun is in the process.

I mean, sure, it would be fun to go to Restoration Hardware and buy everything to furnish my house, but then… my home would just look like a RH catalog.

It’s easy to compare your home with others (especially all those gorgeous blogs out there) and wish you had similar things, but at the end of the day it’s more satisfying to use your creativity and the ingenuity you never would have used otherwise, right?

Plus, what do you do when your home is DONE?

Tufted Love (My New Office Chair)

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Yay I have an office chair!

Remember this handsome guy? I called him my grandpa chair:

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I really wanted to keep him but sadly his arms didn’t fit under my newly refinished desk. But I really loved this guy’s midcentury features, the shiny leather next to the walnut wood, the tufted seat, and the fact that he was in AMAZING condition. Fortunately I was able to sell him for a decent price to someone who I think will appreciate his awesomeness. Now I imagine him living a comfortable life in hipsterland surrounded by his midcentury peers.

ANYWAY, back to my new chair. I couldn’t find a cute office chair that didn’t look too “office-y”. This office area is in our bedroom and we only use it for household stuff, so I didn’t want it to get too businesslike and potentially stressful. I ended up choosing the Lydia dining chair from World Market.

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It’s a nice neutral steel gray in a lovely soft velvet so I think it’ll go well anywhere in the house if I decide to move it later. I’m going to make a more poppy, colorful cushion to go on it to bring in more color.

I like that it’s kind of a more feminine shape, which is kind of what I’m going for in the bedroom.

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The nailhead trim makes it a little more interesting from the back, since that’s the first view when you enter the room.

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There’s not too much going on on the desk right now, which is just how I like it.

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Oh and you may have noticed the closet doors are back on after having been newly painted bright white. I need to get some cute knobs for them now.

This view is nice too:

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I guess baby approves.

I’m actually really glad I was able to sell the old chair and use the money toward something that suited the space better. Oh, and the new chair was 15% off and I had a $10 reward that I used on it so that really helped to alleviate any buyer’s guilt too =).

Refinished MCM Desk

I love January. If only because I feel like I’ve gotten more done in the past 3 weeks than I have in the past 3 MONTHS! We’ve really been on a roll in terms of getting on projects that have been dragging on and finally finishing them up.

For example, this midcentury modern desk was given to us by Chris’ parents several months ago. I immediately loved the clean lines, but I wasn’t so keen on the scuffed and stained desktop.

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I actually didn’t mind the blond wood finish but all these marks needed to go:

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This desk is NOT solid wood, sadly. The desktop is a thin wood veneer. I thought that I could still sand the finish down so that I could re-stain it. It was a very delicate process. In retrospect I should have applied a stripping product to it first, but in my impatience I just started sanding away. I sanded down most of the stains and then applied Minwax Jacobean, a dark espresso stain. It hid most of the remaining stains.

Here’s the final product.

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As you can see, on the drawers I ended up sanding through the veneer at certain points (the darker spots on the drawer fronts). The wood beneath took the stain darker. So it’s not perfect but I really don’t mind the dark spots. They just look more weathered.

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I sanded the main body of the desk and I painted it with an oil-based primer (Zinsser Cover Stain) which in my opinion helps to cover bleed-through better than water based. Its superior sticking power also provides greater durability on an already-finished surface. Then I used Behr Alkyd paint (I can’t remember the color but it is very close to white) for a final two coats. And yes, you can put water-based paint over oil-based primer.

I love Alkyd paint for furniture applications. It’s the same paint I used on the kitchen table:

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Water-based alkyd paint dries to a super hard finish just like oil paint but it’s less toxic and cleans up with water. It has better self-leveling properties than regular latex and goes on super smooth with a brush. It also doesn’t dry tacky like regular latex paints can. These paints are fairly new, but I think they will become more and more popular.

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I finished the stained portions with oil-based polyurethane (applied with a brush). I love that stuff, even though it is super stinky (be sure to wear a ventilator rated to filter VOCs). It dries so smooth and glossy and is super durable.

So now the little office nook in the master bedroom is starting to take shape. The only problem is that this desk is quite small, and the AWESOME vintage office chair I picked up doesn’t fit under it very well:

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I seriously love this chair and consider it one of my greatest estate sale finds. The faux leather is in PRISTINE condition, and the frame is made of a beautiful wood that looks like teak. The previous owner had it in the den and must not have sat there much. It doesn’t even need to be reupholstered. I wish it worked with the desk but the desk is just too small to accommodate those lovely curved arms. So either I sell the chair…or I change out the desk. And after all the work I just put into the desk, I’m a bit loath to get rid of it!

Oh first world problems…

 

Sharing at TwelveOEight, TheBlissfulBee, SavvySouthernStyle, TinySidekick, MissMustardSeed, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello!

DIY Steel Pipe Light Fixture

My husband is amazing.

I know, gag. Get a room, people! But seriously. He is amazing. Not only because he is an extremely good husband but also because he is an incredibly talented DIY-er, designer, all-round handyman… He is very creative and he has the spatial reckoning skills to really do something with his creativity.

I already showed you the wine rack he built me for Christmas, and this was kind of a bonus New Year’s gift that was installed just in time for our New Year’s Day party.

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Boom! This amazingly awesome industrial DIY chandelier that he made out of steel pipe and fittings.

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Behold the beauty, my friends.

Well, to take a little credit for myself (hehe), we worked on the design of this light fixture together. Chris came up with the long H-shaped concept, which we thought would work well with the length of our dining room table (also a DIY, by the way). I weighed in on the design by making each section a slightly random length to keep it asymmetrical and more modern-looking. But really, Chris was the mastermind here.

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Once the design was hammered out, Chris ordered the fixture parts online (from Zorotools.com, but they’re available at Home Depot too if you want to look at them in person) and simply screwed them all together once they arrived. The assembly literally took less than an hour.

Here’s a diagram if you’re interested in re-creating this chandelier:

diy chandelier diagram

A) Nipple,1 1/2 x 2 In 1
B) Floor Flange,1-1/2 In 1
C) Reducer,1-1/2 x 1/2 In 7
D) Tee,1/2 In 9
E) Square Head Plug,1/2 In 4
F) Nipple,1/2 x 7 In 4
G) Nipple,1/2 x 6 In 2
H) Nipple,1/2 x 3 In 2
I) Nipple,1/2 x 1 1/2 In 6
J) Pipe,1/2 x 24 In 1

 

Of course, wiring the fixture, the switch, and the fixture box in the ceiling took a little longer. I’m not going to tell you how to do that. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone accidentally shocking or electrocuting themselves. So, hire an electrician, or if you want to DIY you will find tons of tutorials online on how to wire a light fixture.

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Me likey.

Chris spray painted the porcelain bulb sockets black before wiring them. We sprayed the whole thing with clear lacquer to protect the exposed steel (after wiping off the protective oil with some mineral spirits). Right now the light sockets are just sitting inside the fittings. We’re not sure how to attach them yet but we’re thinking silicone caulk might do the trick.

UPDATE: An awesome reader who happens to be a house inspector recommended using 2-part epoxy to glue the sockets onto the frame. Here’s what he said:

I would recommend using 2 part epoxy. It actually will set better with heat and bonds almost anything and can handle heat without deterioration.

Thanks, Bob!

The cost for the pipe/fittings was about $38. The ceramic light sockets were free, since we re-used ones from an old ceiling fan that came with the house, but there are similar ones available at Home Depot for around $3 each. The lamp wire is sold by the foot at Home Depot at about $0.40 a foot so about $8 total. The spray paint and spray lacquer cost about $6 total. So for about $70 (actually less for us since we already had the sockets) we have a unique chandelier that costs less than half the price of comparable light fixtures.

Note: We used these budget-friendly lightbulbs. They are incandescent but we figured that since we will only be using this chandelier for meals in the dining room, we didn’t need to splurge on dimmable LEDs.

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Here’s a wide shot of our dining/living room. There’s the DIY dining room table Chris built (yes, I know many of you having been clamoring for a tutorial on that…it will come…someday). There are the Goodwill chairs we reupholstered and that we are planning to refinish soon. There’s the Craigslist sofa and the L-shaped sofa table we built behind it. Far in the left corner there’s the green dresser I painted.

Oh and not to mention the sliding glass door we installed (yes, cut a hole in the wall and everything). This room is truly a testament to DIY.

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DIY pipe chandelier

Sharing at SavvySouthernStyleTheBlissfulBee, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello and DIYShowoff!

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