Category: Home Decor

Valley Mist

I can’t believe it took us so long to get the kitchen updating going. The breakfast nook was so drab and sad for such a long time, and in a couple weekends of work is looking so much more cheerful.

breakfast nook painted

Much better than the nondescript before, no?

wood trim breakfast nook

We chose Valley Mist by Behr for the walls. It’s a lovely bluish, greenish, grayish color. It dried a bit brighter than I expected but I like it. The kitchen should be cheerful and bright, I think. And it goes well with the pops of yellow I have in the painted frame and the DIY roman shade.

breakfast nook painted 2

I think it also makes the art stand out more.

breakfast nook painted 1

I want to add some more art on the ledge above the window, and maybe some typography.

We’re working on refinishing the old oak dining table and that will be coming back in soon. I’m just enjoying seeing the transformation of this house! I love giving the house the love it needs to truly shine.

DIY Roman Shade in Breakfast Nook

DIY Roman Shade 02

I must be the last blogger in Blogland to make a DIY roman shade from a mini-blind. There are so many tutorials out there on how to make this frugal alternative to a pricey roman shade, like this one, which I think might be one of the earliest ones (or maybe the original?). But perhaps you DIY-ers out there will benefit from seeing how I did it and what issues I ran into. I’m ultimately pretty happy with the result. I know my DIY shade won’t last forever but I’m happy with it for now, and realistically, by the time it’s ready to be retired, I’ll probably be ready to change the look anyway.

This is, by the way, the reason I still shop at Forever21.

DIY Roman Shade 05

After we removed the mini-blinds from the window in order to paint the wood trim and wainscoting, we were constantly being blinded (heh heh) by the sun shining right into our eyes at dinner time. So something needed to be done.

DIY Roman Shade 09

I picked up a 70″ mini-blind at Home Depot for about $30. I cut off the ladder cords, being very careful not to cut the pull cords. I then cut the pull cords right at the bottom, removed the slats and put 6 slats back on, along with the thicker bottom slat. I knotted the pull cords at the bottom to secure the slats back on.

NOTE: When I put the slats back on, I reversed them so the concave side was oriented towards the top of the blinds. This makes it easier to glue the convex (domed) side down later, as you’ll see.

DIY Roman Shade 06

I laid the mini-blinds out on my fabric (back side up). This fabric is actually a cotton shower curtain I picked up at HomeGoods. I loved the color and the pattern, and that it was just exactly the width of my window so I wouldn’t have to sew any seams up the middle or worry about matching up the pattern.

The hardest part here was squaring off the fabric. The shower curtain wasn’t perfectly straight long the edges, and it was slightly larger than my mini-blinds. So I used fabric glue to hem the edges and even them out.

DIY Roman Shade 07

I wanted the roman shades to fold up small. They will be inside-mounted so I didn’t want them to block too much of the window when folded up. I spaced the slats 7 inches apart.

DIY Roman Shade 08

Then I carefully glued the slats to the back of the fabric, domed-side down, using a bead of fabric glue. I made sure to leave a gap around the area where the pull cord was! At the bottom, I wrapped the fabric around the thick bottom slat and glued it down (no picture of that, sorry).

This was my first time using fabric glue and I was really impressed at how well it stuck! It definitely works better fabric-to-fabric than fabric-to-plastic though. I had to touch up a few loose areas after I hung up the mini blind.

DIY Roman Shade 03

You can see the slats through the fabric, but I don’t mind. In fact it makes it look more tailored. I can always add a liner later if I feel like I’d like to hide the slats and block more sun, but for now, I like how it filters the sun while allowing plenty of light through.

DIY Roman Shade 01

And as you can see, it folds up nice and small to maximize our window space.

DIY Roman Shade 02

DIY Roman Shade 04

The only downside is that the cord hangs behind the shade, which makes it a little more difficult to pull up or down, but it’s not that hard. I guess what I could do is to bring the cord through to the front through a little buttonhole in the fabric, and then add a flap of fabric (like a mini valance) over the top of the shade to hide it. I might do that later if the pull being at the back ends up bothering me.

Sharing at Remodelaholic, ShabbyCreekCottage, SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee

Reupholstered Dining Chairs

Remember these beauties we found at a local Goodwill?

dining chairs side

I was planning to strip down the wood and refinish them, and then reupholster the seats, but realistically I realized refinishing the wood wasn’t going to happen for a long, long, time. So no need to hold off on reupholstering!

dining chair before

The wood isn’t actually that bad. It’s just a very yellowy-orangey honey oak, which I don’t mind that much, except that our floors are also honey oak, as are our coffee tables in the family and the dining set in the breakfast nook. Oh, the 70’s and its love of honey oak!

upholstering dining chairs

I found a beautiful DwellStudio home decor fabric at a Home Fabrics outlet. They have such awesome prices! I’ll always be checking there for fabrics from now on. They have a huge selection of discounted fabrics. This one was $8.99 a yard (normally it retails for over $20)! I was able to upholster two seats over the 54″ fabric width, so really I just needed 1.5 yards for the whole project (though I bought 2 yards just in case). We laid out and centered our fabric, then cut it with plenty of extra room on the sides.

upholstering chairs

Then we basically followed the same idea as when we stretched an oil painting…same principle — gently pull fabric and staple-gun in the middle of each side, then work out towards the corners.

upholstering chair corners

We made 2 unobtrusive folds at the corners so they would lay flat.

Et voila!

upholstered chair

I really love the fabric. It is retro and modern at the same time and goes so well with the style (and color) of the chairs! It is about a zillion times better than the old burgundy fabric!

before and after chair

It will do for a while until I get around to refinishing the chairs. I love projects like these…easy, quick, almost instant gratification =).

Did I mention they’re super comfy to sit on too?

Sharing at TheShabbyCreekCottage, MissMustardSeed, ShabbyNest, NotJustaHousewife and Remodelaholic!

What’s Up This Week

This week we were working on a bunch of projects but didn’t get a chance to finish anything, so I’ll post finished pics next week. I was also struggling with fatigue from 3 nights of insomnia (gah!). But I’ll share a few updates on our progress this week.

diy table

Our DIY dining table is almost done! It’s been basically constructed and now needs to be finished off with stain and poly, and then assembled in the dining room.

baby using tools

This little girl helped put the table together.

staining table

Yesterday we put on a couple coats of stain (Minwax Special Walnut, my favorite) and we’re going to put on a couple coats of polyurethane today.

dining chairs goodwill

I often feel like we never find anything good at Goodwill anymore, but then something like this happens! My latest find — four mid-century-esque dining chairs. Solid oak, cushion stuffing in really good condition. Oh and did I mention the table came with (I’m saving it for the “craft room” in the loft when we get around to it). All for 40 bones?! I have a feeling these chairs are more 80’s than truly mid-century but I think they’ll be great once I recover the seats and refinish the wood (hopefully in a less honey finish, if I can sand off all of the current finish).

And finally:

trader joes cards

I switched in some new “art” in the small 5×7 frames on the left of this gallery wall in the breakfast nook. They are actually cards from Trader Joe’s for 99 cents each!

(Please ignore the disintegrating trim on the right there. It will all be fixed. Someday. Also, paint on the walls. It will happen, I promise.)

trader joes art

Trader Joe’s has the cutest cards, and they are printed on really nice textured matte cardstock that looks just like watercolor paper. I love that they have a lot of non-subject specific cards so they don’t look strange framed. Go get some! For a buck you can get really cute art at Trader Joe’s to switch things up around the house!

Elsewhere on the Internet, a few more of my articles are up at Wisebread.com:

Is Your Apple Dangerous? How to Eat Fewer Pesticides (While Saving Money) – buying organic is one way, but there are several strategies you can use to reduce your pesticide exposure in food.

5 Ways to Say “No” to Friends and Family – We all could use some more balance in our lives…saying “no” once in a while is a good start.

How to Save 10-20% on Online Purchases Every Day – My not-so-secret method for saving every time you buy something online.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Begone, Wood Trim!

breakfast nook Collage

Hey all! Thanks for reading even though I haven’t posted much this week. We’ve been trying to crank out a lot of house/yard projects this summer, but they all take time, and thus I haven’t had the chance to post as many little crafty cute things as I’d like to.

This week I’ve been working on this space:

wood trim breakfast nook

The breakfast nook (before picture above) has always been workable, so I hadn’t bothered to do much to it other than hang pictures. But last week while we were painting some other stuff, I decided it was time to paint the dark wood trim. I have nothing against wood but in this room it was looking dated and a little too 1980’s summer camp.

2 coats of Zinsser Cover Stain (water based) and 2 coats of semi-gloss white (untinted white base from Behr) later and we have this!

kitchen nook white

I painted a couple of coats on the plank wainscoting too. It had been previously an off-white cream color (combined with the wood trim, totally dated!).

breakfast nook white

Ahh, so much fresher in here! Next, I’m planning to paint the walls and install a DIY roman shade in the window. We’re also going to remove the battered quarter-round baseboards and replace them with some more substantial base trim. Then I’m going to do something to make over the 70s oak table and chairs we inherited from my in-laws. So many projects, so little time!

Sharing at NotJustAHousewife and DIYShowoff!

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