Posts tagged ‘Bench’

This is what I get for not being an architect…

Or maybe it’s what I get for not taking measurements. Anyway…

When Chris and I bought our condo the dining room measurements were listed as 8’x8′ on MLS Trend. When we got our condo appraised, the floorplan drawn up in the paperwork also noted the dining room as 8’x8′. When I bought a 16′ piece of wood from Home Depot and had it cut in 2 for the dining room bench, I assumed both pieces were 8′. So when I bought four 8′ pieces of wood for the bench back this week, I assumed they would fit.

Well it turns out our dining room is actually 7’10” x 7’10”.

The wood is still 8′.

Uh oh.

So after 3 trips to Lowe’s in 2 hours Wednesday night, the bench back is secured and upholstered..and standing on its side behind the dining room bench.On the bright side, the bench is reupholstered in this beautiful, more appropriate, more luxurious fabric. The brown pleather was nice in theory, but it was purchased before we painted the room. The red washed out the brown and it just looked cheap. I stapled the new fabric right over the pleather plus another layer of batting, so it’s plusher than ever.The Instructional:

I laid down the fabric first, smoothing out all wrinkles. The batting went over that and the wood over that. I utilized Chris to make sure the wood went down in its place in 1 try, as to not snag or fluster the batting. I didn’t think of how I would secure the 4 long pieces until I got home with the wood and realized I would need to lay a thin 1 inch piece perpendicular. This photo shows the 2″ pieces that I purchased as the bench sides, but they were too thick. So began my 1st of 3 journeys to Lowe’s.I purchased three 1″ thick pieces of wood to secure the four 8′ pieces. To ensure a tight fit for the fabric, I stapled the batting and fabric around all 4 sides before screwing on the 3 smaller pieces.Since this couldn’t safely rest on top of the bench, I had to head back out to Lowe’s for a picture hanging kit (This was actually the 3rd trip as the 2nd trip I forgot my wallet…where is my head these days?). I partially hammered the rings in until they were tight enough to screw in (a screwdriver can’t be used with these). After tying the wire through 3 rings it was ready to hang.The kit also included U-brackets to hang the wire upon. Each of these can hold 75 lbs. I used 2, 1 for every 4 feet.Re-upholstering the bench was a breeze. I pulled the bench a foot away from the wall, turned it on its side and laid the batting on top of the pleather.I repeated this step with the fabric and turned the bench on its other side to staple the bottom.Since the back was way too heavy and Chris wasn’t home, it took me about an hour of maneuvering and pivoting until I realized the back was too long. My shoulder muscles ache today just from getting it over the bench to its upright position.Being the optimists that we are, we didn’t let this snafu hinder us from enjoying Chris’ birthday dinner in our dining room. Truffle fries, grilled sausage with carmelized onions, and filet mignon à la Daddy Mims. Delicious!Excuse the lighting..Ambiance isn’t captured well on film.

2011 Resolutions

Is it really possible to leave all that we dislike in 2010 and bring only good things forward? Maybe not. But the point of New Years’ resolutions is to better ourselves over time, right? I like to think that I have the willpower to change bad habits as they occur, but the truth is I like to binge on the unhealthy and inconvenient until I can take no more. So here are my New Years’ resolutions for 2011:

1. Work out more. I am happy to say that I am 4 for 4 in the gym this week. (May be 4 for 5 due to this lazy snow day). You may be thinking “Day 5? Today is January 7th, where is she getting ‘Day 5’ from??” Obviously weekends don’t count when it comes to diet and exercise. This couch sure is looking cozy right about now.

2. Decorate more. As I went through old notebooks, cleaning up my workspace, I came across home plans that I drew up months ago. Some I accomplished halfway and some never got further than the pen hitting the paper.

Among such were dining room drapes. It is true that I bought, hung, and steamed the drapes. However, that is as far as I got. The drapes are still loosely hanging with no drawback. (I taped them back with electrical tape for the photo below. Shame on me). Instead of presenting the dining room like a pretty little package, it resembles the balcony of a beach house with wet, sandy towels drying to a stiff uncomfortableness (only more silky and soft than stiff and uncomfortable). It is also asymmetrical. I’m not encouraging perfect symmetry in every aspect of a home, but the entrance to our dining room is too wide to have only one side dressed.

Also on the list was the dining room bench. With the haste stapling and the lack of foam and batting, I had planned on reupholstering the bench while also adding sides and a back. This will ideally give a more sophisticated-lounge-like feel rather than a playground-picnic-like feel.

Last in the notebook of procrastination was the Master Suite Makeover. I started on my mom’s bedroom a few months back and progressed pretty far during the 2 weekends I spent on it. But with the holidays and my own home plans, the master makeover fell to the back burner. This morning I came across the original plans I had for the room, and while I’ve got to say that the floorplan itself is close to complete, isn’t it really all about accessorizing?

The footboard doesn’t yet exist. The 2 chairs in the ‘seating area’ have become 1 chaise, table yet to be found. The TV is on the opposite wall to the left of the bed. Other than that, this is spot on. But the accessories! The tables need lamps, the seating area needs an area rug, the walls need art, the windows need drapes, etc, etc!

This photo is pre-paint.

3. Take and post photos regardless of progress. In the past, I have hesitated to take photos in the before and during stages. While this may seem shallow and vein, it is really mere forgetfulness (with maybe a dash of vanity). I would clean from top to bottom in preparation of a photo shoot, and regret it later when I am explaining only in words how long and hard I worked on any given project. For example, in 2010 I would have never posted these cringe-worthy photos of our office during laundry day (laundry week).

Stage 1: Wait until clean laundry builds up on the floor and the closets are empty.

Stage 2: Sort laundry into his and mine, foldables and hangables.

Stage 3: Rejoice in clean room

 

4. Be more efficient at doing laundry.

 

I hope everyone’s 2011 is off to a great start and I look forward to jumping back into inexpensive elegance now that the hectic holidays are over.

My Bedroom in all its imperfections

My last post about the canopy gone wrong made me realize that I haven’t photographed my bedroom in full yet. This wasn’t just a misstep on my part, but a deliberate attempt to not show what was not yet done. But I’ve gotten over that and am ready to reveal my “in process” rooms, no matter the state.

Here goes:

*Pay no attention to the “canopy” above the bed that I haven’t taken down yet.

The window valances came with the bed set and are not staying. I hung them up with white sheer panels that I “eyeballed” instead of taking measurements. They were about a foot short of touching the window sill.

I may have previously mentioned my newfound addiction to wallpapering furniture. That is on display in these photos.

The bench at the foot of the bed is made up of 2 2-drawer components from Target. I made the bench pad from foam, batting and the same velvet fabric used for the headboard. The trim from JoAnn fabrics is only fastened with pins right now because I didn’t buy enough and haven’t sewn it yet.

The drawer front is a different pattern than the sides.  Not sure if I love it yet. In the picture above it seems to go together, but up close it looks a little more clashed. Take a look:

I bought the rolls of wallpaper on Ebay for a total of $20 (1 roll of each).

What triggered the addiction was my bedroom vanity. One of our first furniture purchases was a TV stand from Ikea for $50. After falling in love with a coffee table that didn’t match this style at all and deciding to mount our tv to the wall, we had no use for this TV stand. I mean NO use. With a little over 850 sq ft to work with, we brainstormed every room. Maybe a buffet in our 8×8 dining room. Maybe a wall mounted shelf over our bedroom closet. Maybe a work area in the office. None of these rooms could spare the space. It stayed in our hall for a month while we thought of who we could give it to or if we should eat the $50 and throw it out.

Finally! when talking with a friend about my desire for a vanity in our bedroom as well as my wish for a versatile mini bar, she suggested I add taller legs to the trash-bound TV stand and paint it. We left for Ikea immediately and bought 4 legs at $12.50 each with casters for easy mobility.

It was decided the surface couldn’t be painted without sanding, and wallpapering would be the way to go.

The result is my beautiful bedroom vanity:

The ends are a little messy so I plan on adding a gold trim…just haven’t figured out how yet.

The stool is from Home Goods, $30. It’s a little short right now, nothing Ikea legs can’t fix. Still not sure if I will keep it. I wanted a vanity stool that could look good on its own if I ever move the vanity into the living room to serve as a buffet table during a party. But maybe that’s a silly idea to decorate around.

The mirror will be hung on the wall. We’re also still looking for alot of creative art work. Don’t judge our bare walls just yet.

Revisions to be made to the scene on the left:

  • Canopy removed
  • Pendant lighting hung above nightstands.
  • Wall art

 

 

 

 

Revisions to be made to the scene on the right:

  • Mirror hung on wall
  • Wall Art
  • TV wires hidden (in living room)

Dining Room – During the Upgrade

I have become addicted to wallpapering furniture! I toyed around with the idea in my head for a while, wondering if it would be financially smart as well as a beautiful outcome. It has proved to be both. I bought the diamond checkered pattern on ebay for $10. I did the table top and drawers, and I also did my new vanity/bar, which needs another post entirely.

The table folded down to a tiny drink station

You may be able to tell that we haven’t solved the lighting solution in this room yet. I do plan on keeping it darker to add an ambient atmosphere, but as of now we just have a lamp plugged into the wall to add light when we painted.

We haven’t moved the bench out to paint behind there yet either. There’s no doubt that this room is only about 40% finished. I plan on adding some drapes to close it off a little, and throw some pillows together for the bench as well as new ones for the chairs.

We’re also at a standstill on the wall. The original plan was to stencil the fleur de lys onto the wall in a diagonal criss-cross pattern, but after we painted we started brainstorming other ideas. Maybe have frames of different shapes and sizes covering the back wall. Maybe thin gold stripes. Possibly leave as-is? To be determined..

I love this room as a lounge. The small trunk between the 2 Ikea chairs is from Home Goods. It’s perfect for setting down a drink or for a tray of appetizers. The room looks so bare in thie picture but once the drapes are up, the lighting is perfect, the bench has pillows, the walls are decorated, then voila! it will look wonderful. How is the smallest room the hardest to decorate?

 

The Dining Room..the smallest space proves to be the biggest project

The "Bonus" Room

Our dining room is just awkward. The way our condo is shaped, the dining room is set in the front of the unit right by the door. If you follow the hallway from the front door, past the dining room, you are lead into the kitchen/living room, and the rest of the otherwise-open-layout condo. It is easy to forget that the dining room even exists, especially with the breakfast bar where we eat most of our meals anyway.

It is only 8ft by 8ft and therefore very difficult to plan a formal dining room around. Now, in the defense of the architect, this room was not necessarily planned as a dining room. I’ve seen it used as an office, a sitting room with a small TV, I’ve even considered converting it into a 2nd bathroom. But as someone who loves to cook and entertain, a dining room was inevitable.

Folded down at 10″ wide

Fully extended to 5 feet

We were given a versatile Ikea table and chairs from as a gift. It was perfect for the small space. It can be folded to a minimum when I’m going for a lounge-type feel, 1 side down for an intimate dinner for 2, or fully extended to accommodate a group. Although the versatility was like magic, the simplicity wasn’t my cup of tea. But the renovation deserves its own post.

 I built a bench for the back wall of the room using wood from Home Depot and a drill. (Having two 8ft 2x4s cut into several 16 inch legs by the Home Depot tech was a major stress saver!) It was much easier than I imagined and it cost around $20. With a staple gun, I covered the top of the bench in thick batting, and topped it with a faux leather material from Joann Fabric’s clearance section. However, I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my own work, and the batting wasn’t quite as thick to conceal the hardwood feel, and the fabric wrinkled a little after haste stapling. So my next step is to remove batting and fabric and add a thick piece of foam (2-3 inches) cut to size from Joann Fabrics. With their never-ending 40% coupons found in every ad, this should be under $10. 
These are the ‘befores.’ Since the ‘afters’ don’t exist in photograph or my home, stay tune for the ‘durings.’
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