And The Walls Came A Tumblin’ Down

Cuddling can lead to a few things– falling asleep on the couch, more romantical moments, or thinking about putting a hole in the wall. Cuddling in our case definitely led to the latter.

Our family room shares a wall with our kitchen so one night we were cuddling on the couch and I started looking at the big expanse of wall. Of course, this being us, I broached the idea of a pass through window on the wall. A few hmmms and huhs later, the idea started to grow.

Neither one of us loves open floor plan because we like the designated spaces but liked the idea of a pass through window. The window would open up the family room more to the house while making it feel less like an addition to the original house plan.

We then spend two months randomly bringing the idea up while sitting on the couch. So after awhile, we taped up the window dimension on both walls and knew we needed it. One quick mock up later, it was love.

kitchenkitchen-2Then we started the process of finding a contractor because I knew we could not handle a project such as this with our marriage remaining intact. The longer the taped remained on the wall, the more confident Greg because in his wall cutting prowess.

kitchen-4Well, an episode of something on HGTV where they dealt with some homeowner who improperly installed a pass through window stopped all discussion of DIYing it.

$550 and one Saturday later, our lives completely changed.

The new pass through window completely changes the flow between the kitchen and family room for the better. More light reaches the family room and kitchen nook, nor does the nook feel as claustrophobic.

kitchen-5Plus it highlights the table we made over Labor Day (post coming sooner or later). Now we’re just questioning why it took us almost four years to think of it.

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A Christmas Surprise

As we start taking down and packing our Christmas decorations, I thought it’d be a great time to share our holiday with you . . . and one massive Christmas surprise.

Let’s start off with Hazel, her Aunt Laura officially turned our puppy into a hipster by giving her this ensemble.  The hat did not last long on Hazel but the scarf remained on all Christmas.

Bathroom MakeoverIn case you’re wondering, it took three of us and a bag of Reece’s Pieces to capture this shot of Hazel.  Speaking of pictures, I received a new lens for Christmas . . . . which I love!  It’s a 50mm lens which allows to create the blurry backgrounds like this

Greg heading to the Mummer's Parade

Greg heading to the Mummer’s Parade

Greg received the biggest surprise of all early in December when he came home to this-

bathroom makeoverWe had just spent Thanksgiving weekend peeling the remaining wallpaper and patching the walls because I had started it a few weeks ago and convinced Greg I was going to do it for him to make our life easier when we actually makeover the room.

Little did he know that we spent Thanksgiving week peeling/patching because my Dad and I would be redoing the bathroom on Monday.  The entire Thanksgiving weekend, I managed to convinced my wrist-casted husband:

  • I just wanted to learn how to patch a wall;
  • It would make our life easier in January when we start redoing the room;
  • It was a holiday weekend and we needed to be projecting.

He bought my story so well that he was picking colors for the wall (too late, I already had the gallon hiding in our guest room).  Fortunately, we wanted similar colors which caused me a few moments of unease until I started talking about my chosen color (Parisian Taupe) which he agreed would look great.

But I need to get back to Monday and the door.  Greg came home to this and thought I was messing with him because I told him I picked up a toilet paper holder . . . and then he opened the door.

Bathroom makeover

He stood there dumbfounded for minutes because it didn’t look like it did earlier that morning.

bathroom makeover

The room has been our biggest failure in that we never completed the room.  Each morning it taunted us with it’s unfinished, somewhat peeled walls.  We list this room as a to do every year and never do anything.  Now it can’t taunt us anymore.

bathroom makeover

bathroom makeover

bathroom makeover

bathroom makeoverDon’t worry, I’ll do a full breakdown of costs and how this occurred but we wanted to share our Christmas with you before the Superbowl (let’s be honest, I’m a slower blogger).  How was everyone’s holiday?  Did you do any projecting or subject your pet to embarrassing pictures?

Under the Dome

Ever since we placed the buffet in the dining room, I’ve been on a hunt to find objects to place on it.  He comes home on a regular basis to a completely redecorated buffet top with items gathered from other rooms.

Side note: do you know how hard it is to decorate with someone who thinks everything looks great?

I’m not allowing myself to visit HomeGoods on this quest to decorate the buffet because I will come home with $100 worth of home goods not even for the buffet.  HomeGoods and Target are the only stores where you go in for one item and walk out with twenty.  So I decided to visit a new (ok, new to me) thrift shop nearby.  Does anyone else suffer from this Target affliction?

Sweet Repeats was packed to the brim with miscellaneous home item (both furniture and décor), so I followed the directions of all good thrifters—dig, move, and search.  Then I saw it—this glass domed plate.  How cute would it look with a few little pumpkins under the dome?  To see if I like it with something under the dome, I placed various bric-a-brac from around the store under the dome.

dome diy

Now for the condition of the dome’s plate, it definitely needed a bit of TLC but it’s nothing I couldn’t handle.  In addition, it gave me a chance to play with my new gold spray paint.  You see, I have a few items from my Grandmom’s house that need a facelift—a gold facelift.  After reading several reviews on gold spray paint, the Rust-oleum version came out on top for color.

dome diy

Even better was the dome’s price tag- $6 but an additional 50 percent off.  I can easily justify $3 for a project which could fail.  Heck, it’s less than a Big Mac lunch meal.

dome diy

Now for the bad news, I hate it on the buffet.  Ugh.  The dome was too small and just didn’t look right at all.  I still wanted to project because with all the shelves in our living room, the dome could easily find a home . . . and I had glitter pumpkins for it.  We all know my love of glitter so they had to make it into the house somewhere.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty of how I refinished the dome plate.

1. Sand down the plate.  I used a rougher sandpaper to smooth out the base and then a finer sandpaper to really smooth it out.  Greg would be so proud of me using two sandpapers!

dome diy

2. Wipe it down.  You don’t want to spray it with all the sandpaper created dust.

3. Get a piece of cardboard and head outside with your spray paint and dome base.  Lightly spray it and let it dry.

dome diy

4. Repeat the process until you have the desired coverage.

5. Place pumpkins under the dome and situation in your room.

dome diy

I ended up placing the dome in the living room—not on the shelves but on our coffee table.

Side note: don’t think I didn’t move everything on the shelves to make it work. 

The dome doesn’t bother Hazel and I like how it pulls the warm tones from the dining room into the living room.  I can even change the items under the dome each season.  Maybe next month I’ll place a few Christmas balls under it!

Furniture Facelift Part Two

Ahoy matey! Ever since we ordered our captain’s chairs for the dining room, I feel as though I need to talk like a pirate when discussing them.

Argh, pirate’s chairs.

With the buffet in, we turned our attention to the dining room seating situation and surmised it was fairly lacking and lackluster. Four boring chairs with pink striped fabric.

reupholstering dining room chairs

I forgot to take a before picture of the chairs, here it is in the background.

Blah.

Our original plan was to use a brown chair we purchased at Target for the man cave as the head chair for the dining room. But we wanted two, so off to Target’s website we went to find the matching chair  . . . . and failed.

We continued searching Target’s site to see what else they offered, then we found this chair and loved it. The feeling of the scripting and postmarking seemed to fit with our style and did not complete with my lovingly stenciled walls. Greg wondered how to deal with the seat covers of the other four chair but never fear!

At this point, he really should know not to wonder how when it come to fabric.  Waverly came to our rescue with their script fabric. I’ve seen it numerous times at Joann’s and knew it matched the Target chairs enough for us to fake the matching.

I knew we faked it enough after showing the picture of both chairs to my manager and she asked if we bought extra chairs to use the fabric on the seat bases.

reupholstering dining room chairs

Score!

But wait, there’s more—after ordering the chairs on a Friday night, I saw they dropped in price by $65 on Sunday. A quick call to Target resulted in a price adjustment and learning if a product drops in price within a week of purchase, they will adjust the price.

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of reupholstering the chairs.

What you will need:

  • Extra thick batting
  • Staple gun with staples (3/4” staples)
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Fabric (2 yards which was more than enough)
  • Masking tape/painters tape

Before we get started, I wanted to state you do not have to recover chairs over the original fabric. We chose to do this because we did not want to destroy Greg’s Grandmom’s chairs. The original covers were still in amazing shape but did not match our dining room. If down the line we sell them or move them to another room, we did not want to be tied to the fabric we used for our dining room.

Another note- these instructions are for doing one. We did them all at the same time, so each step was performed four times. It’s much easier to do them assembly line style than one at a time.

1. Mark your seats and chairs so that you know which base pairs with which chair. A little piece of painters tape with a number on each piece will work. We did not do this and wished we did. If you are wondering why—it makes screwing the bases back on much easier since the hole align properly on the original chair.

2. Turn the chair over and unscrew the base from chair.

reupholstering dining room chairs

3. Take the base and position it top down over your batting. You want to have several inches on all sides of the base because you will be pulling it over the sides and stapling on the base underside.

reupholstering dining room chairs

4. Cut!

reupholstering dining room chairs

5. Keep your batting free from a puppy otherwise they think it’s a soft place to lay.

reupholstering dining room chairs

6. The next step is stapling the batting to the chair. I drew up a diagram to help explain what you do. First you staple the centers of each side(close to the edge of the chair)—you do one edge and then do the opposite edge, pulling the batting nice and tight on the opposite edge. You can staple about two inches in each center. Repeat for the other edges (always pulling the batting tight). Then you return to the first edge and work your way out from the center (pull the batting tight before stapling). Stop about two inches from the corners. Repeat on the opposite edge. Then continue on the other edges. The last step are the corners—you will have to fold the batting for it to nicely lay on the chair base. It will be bunchy but you want to have it look as smooth as possible on the top side of the chair. Staple it down once you get a corner the way you want it. Repeat on the other three corners.

reupholstering dining room chairs

Side note: If you have a nail gun, check to see if it has a staple gun attachment. For doing large projects such as four chairs, the attachment makes this much easier. If you are using a regular staple gun, find a friend to help with the project because you hand will get tired/you want someone to do the pulling since a staple gun can sometime require two hands on the trigger.reupholstering dining room chairs

7. Trim all excess batting off (cutting very close to the staple). Trim around the screw holes to guarantee there won’t be batting in the way of reattaching it to the chair.

reupholstering dining room chairs

Before

After

After

Side note: If some staples aren’t fully in, just hammer them in. If you need to pull one out use the flat head screwdriver or pliers.

8. Pretty much repeat step 3 with fabric. Take the batting covered base and position it top down over your fabric. You want to have several inches on all sides of the base because you will be pulling it over the sides and stapling on the base underside.

reupholstering dining room chairs

Side note: Please iron your fabric before stapling it to the seat!

dining room chairs-15

9. Again, repeat step 4 but with the fabric. Stop when it comes to the corners.

reupholstering dining room chairs

10. Corners are not fun and the bane of upholstering chairs. Unlike the batting, the fabric will be visible to everyone so you want to ensure the corners look good and mostly creaseless. It’s the same folding process as before but you want to take extra time/care to arrange the fabric before stapling.

reupholstering dining room chairs

11. Once everything is stapled, trim the excess fabric off and ensuring the screw holes are clear of fabric.

reupholstering dining room chairs

Side note: Again, if some staples aren’t fully in, just hammer them in. If you need to pull one out use the flat head screwdriver or pliers. If you need to add a few more staples, go for it.

12. Screw base on to chair frame. We found it worked best if we positioned everything on the table.

reupholstering dining room chairs

13. Enjoy your new seats!

reupholstering dining room chairs

As with all projects, it does incur a few costs.  Most of our costs related to this project are derived from purchasing two new chairs.

Cost Breakdown

  • Captain’s Chairs: $195 (with free shipping)
  • Fabric: $40
  • Batting: Free*
  • Tools: Free*

Total cost: $235

* Already had items.

reupholstering dining room chairs

In the end, I think the room is really coming together nicely.  The pattern pairs nicely with our mirrored cabinet and Eiffel Tower.  We’ve finished cleaning our my Grandmom’s house and a few items have made it into this room– her soup tureen and picture frames.  Three more items will be joining the room as soon as we project them– updated wall scones and a picture frame turned into mirror.

Side note: You are probably wondering about the curtains– we did them last year but just recently hemmed them.  They are in the “to blog about” list which I am slowly working on.  Hopefully the instructions will be posted before Housiversary III

reupholstering dining room chairs

Sneak peak!

To quote Almost Famous, “It’s all happening!”

Our dining room is so close to reaching completed status. Now you are all wondering what we are talking about because dining room was no where on our list.

Well once we got the buffet in, we started brainstorming which lead us to Target which brought us this-

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Stay tuned!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I turn 31 and I’ve had the Phil Vassar song, “My Next 30 Years” stuck in my head on repeat. I’ve been looking back over the past year and reflecting on how I had moments of great joy and moments of loss, in addition to everything in between.

When I turned 26, we celebrated at my regular happy hour site with good friends. Greg and I had been seeing each other for about six months and he finally got to meet most of my core group of college friends. I might not remember everything from that night but I remember this- a friend pulled me aside and told me she had a feeling he was “the one.” I laughed it off because he wasn’t even referring to me as his girlfriend yet but she was right.

At our rehearsal dinner a few weeks ago, I retold the story to her and she didn’t even remember telling me. Funny how certain things stick out in our brains.

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Now we are building a life together. He’s been my rock and support for all those moments this year.

He’s also puts up with me declaring, “I have an idea . . . .” which leads me to the real point of this post. . . .

MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT!

I am that girl who buys herself birthday and Christmas presents.  This year I didn’t plan on getting myself anything especially after we got the estimate to have our Florida room updated.  As you learn, life doesn’t always work out the way you planned.  Yesterday there was a devastating building collapse in Philadelphia, a few blocks down from where I used to work.  The collapse took out the Salvation Army next door, a place I would frequent infrequently.

It got me thinking about Impact Thrift near us and how I hadn’t visited recently.  At lunch I decided to visit just to peruse the furniture section.  For as long as we’ve been in the house, I’ve been on the hunt for a dining room buffet because my dresser is not the best item for storing flatware.   We had discussed possibly buying a new dining room set at Christmas but the Florida room bill placed a massive hold on our new dining room furniture plans.

And then I saw it– a buffet with removal top that matched our dining room table.

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Sure it needs a little love but for $150 ($65 for delivery), I couldn’t beat it.  The deal got even better– Greg hates how I shove receipts in my purse and leave them there but today it paid off.  Impact offers coupons on the back of Giant grocery store receipts and I had one in my purse.

$25 came off the grand total bring it down to a manageable $185.

I understand buying used furniture isn’t for everyone but to me it’s no different than taking something of your parents/friends/friends of the family.  I don’t haggle prices at thrift store because most of the time the money is helping a charity.  In a few days they will be delivering this lovely piece of furniture and I will be ready with my cleaning supplies!

Movin’ and Groovin’

Over the weekend we hunkered down and organized/cleaned the downstairs.

I bet you’re wondering what inspired this frenzied cleaning. Well we wanted to move Hazel’s crate into her new bedroom.

We might have traumatized her bit with the change but I think she’s taken to the new room.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a real rundown but for now, enjoy the nutball in all her glory.

Should I also mention this has become her new favorite room?

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