Entries Tagged as 'DIY projects'

A Pair of Chairs, an Emu and an Alpaca



Unorthodox post title you say, not in our world, in our world it’s just another average day discussing decorating decisions between Bryan and I.

But let’s start at the beginning shall we? With these 2 very vintage chairs that used to belong to my great-grandmother. Yes I said great-grandmother. I’ve actually been hanging onto these chairs for quite some time storing them in my in-laws attic for just the right place to bring them into the house and rescue them from their very orange, very neglected and very vinyl state that they are currently in. In short, they’re a mess.

Old Chairs

I’ve always loved these chairs for their fantastic modern lines, nail head trim and piping detail. But right now they’re in pretty pathetic shape. When you touch them they feel sticky, even though we’ve cleaned them a couple of times so they’re suitable enough to bring indoors and  there’s one spring that needs some replacing.

Old Chairs 2

They’re the perfect size and scale for our bedroom and will fit snugly in their new home between the bookcase that flank the window in our room once our entire plan comes together. We’re planning to reupholster these, hopefully (fingers crossed) on our own with the help of a lot of you tube videos and a few great blog posts…Well that’s the plan anyway.

Bedroom Before

As for the bedroom I’ve chosen the key fabric for the room. It’s Silsila, Curry fabric from Tonic Livingat around $25 a yard it’s not cheap but we’ll be using it on pillows and accents around the room so it won’t be ridiculously expensive.


via Tonic Living

I’m kind of in love with it. It’s so much prettier in person than it is online. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. As far as other fabrics in the room everything else is still very much in the air (more on that in another post).

Which brings me back to our currently very vinyl chairs.  I’m thinking a somewhat neutral faux leather would be perfect on these. I can bring them from room to room if I ever want to switch things up. Faux leather would also be a stain and sticky finger resistant option, an added bonus in my mind.


Emu Faux Leather

I sent this picture to Bryan asking what he thought.

Bryan said, “How about black?”

I responded “Brown will look better with the fabric I showed you the other day.”

Bryan then said, “what is that alligator”

I responded “No, it’s faux Emu, and no I’m not kidding.”

emu 2

Emu image via

Bryan’s response “Of course you’re not kidding, what’s the matter you couldn’t find faux Alpaca?”


Alpaca image via

…and that’s how an Emu and an Alpaca came to be a part of our conversation on bedroom chairs.

Full Steam Ahead



After the Yellow and Gray idea got thrown to the side and we settled on a new totally awesome inspiration photo for the Master bedroom (you can check out that whole process here) we’re moving full steam ahead gathering fabric, paint samples and scouting a couple new furniture pieces to turn our very green master bedroom from something that looks like this…

to something that looks more like this…

via houzz

But before I get into all that let’s back up here for a second and take  look at what I’m really loving about my inspiration room and what we’re planning to take away from it.

We don’t want to take this exact room and try to plop it our space. Although, if anyone is offering that would be nice. The idea is to emulate the upscale country feel that this room has but on a much smaller budget, in a smaller space and make it our own by changing some elements to fit our lifestyle and needs for our room.

But, back to what I’m loving, the antique quilt on the bed is fantastic, as is the overall mix of fabrics in the room. I love the large scale floral mixed with the stripes and the small scale ikat pattern on the drapes.

Although I think each piece adds to the overall aesthetic and the beauty of the room  the patterned area rug (since we already have a neutral one), bed side tables without any storage and the high ceiling just aren’t going to be possible/work in our space.

So what’s the plan you ask? Well, I’ll get to that in a second.

I started by taking a look at the fabric choices in the room. The floral pillows with yellow trim, striped accent pillow, the smaller scale geometric choices including ikat window treatments and red geometric fabric on the bench. It all leads to a layered over time space. Those are the elements that  really want to take away.

After a little searching I found the source list for the Sarah’s Farmhouse room although they don’t specify which fabric it is they do include the manufacturer. I found a couple of them online,  the lovely floral on the left is  Sunara Ikat Spice by F. Schumacher and it is priced at around $129 per yard. That awesome small print ikat pattern on the right is Sunara Ikat Spice by F. Schumacher priced at about $70. Both lovely, but not going to happen on our budget.

So what’s the plan you ask again?

1. Silsila, Curry $24.95, 2. Mini Chevron $9.95, 3. Soho Sorbet $10.95 4. Hounds-tooth $19.98 5. Arlecchino Riga Stripe $29.98

 Aha, finally she get’s to the point! Well, here it is, I wanted a similar mix of color and pattern. I’m in love with the Suzani style print fabric above. I’ve ordered a bunch of swatches as well a few others  and I can’t wait for them to get here. Follow along on my inspiration board on pinterest to see all my current choices.

If all goes as planned I’ll probably use the Suzani style print on pillows and maybe a chair or two. Although I’m still debating that. I’ll use the small scale Chevron on the windows and layer in the other fabrics around the room. Of course, everything is still very much in the air and there’s tons more to do and decide.

So that’s where we are at in the space, there’s still so much to do like find end tables, chairs, finalize the fabric choices, paint color…you get the idea.

Yeah, I’m totally thinking it’s time for a list!


The Deck is Done, Finally!



We are victorious! Well that’s how it feels at least. It’s been a looong time coming. This is one of those projects that I wished was finished as soon as I started it! It was a monster of a deck to stain by hand with a brush. But it’s done and I’m THRILLED. We finally finished  staining over the weekend after being interrupted numerous times by rain,  snow and those dreaded days in between the weekends where you have to go to work.

But let’s start at the very beginning shall we?

It all started when we moved in looking a bit  like this…

…and then last fall like this…

…over time and a lot of hard work it turned into this…

…and finally it was ready to stain.

The actual deck has been done for a couple months but we had to wait for the pressure treated wood to sit out and dry for a while before staining. We’ve learned that the pressure-treating process soaks the wood.  When newly installed, it will not allow any type of coating to adhere well. A quick tip from our local paint store was to test the deck’s readiness to accept stain by splashing water on the surface.  If the water beads on the surface, more drying time is needed. If the water droplets soak into the wood, then the wood is dry enough to accept a top coat.

We wanted a deep red coloring so we went off to the local paint store. These guys seriously know their stuff. I always prefer going there over the big box stores in our are. They’re always friendly, knowledgeable and can find you the perfect paint chip in a haystack. Seriously they’re awesome. So if you’re in the area go to Sak’s Paint.

We chose Sikkens brand Semi Transparent Stain in Navajo Red. It’s an all in one stain and sealer. It worked out rather well although we had to stain each rail and board by hand with a brush according to the directions. With this type of stain you need to use a brush to really work it into the wood and because of the sealer a second coat isn’t necessary or recommended so it’s really important to get the first coat applied evenly and brushed in well.  Also this stuff is super duper STINKY so it’s good we were doing this outdoors!

I’ll save you the long boring details of watching paint dry. The whole the was pretty much a lot of stooping over and painting and ummm dipping. Yeah, that’s pretty much how our days went. We used 2 size brushes, 1 was a 2 inch angle brush to help get in between each of the board and a 4 inch brush for the large flat surfaces. The only awesome thing my father figured out about half way through was to duct tape a wood handle to the 4 inch paint brush to paint the floor. Which saved a ton of stooping.

So there you have it our Deck, Finished…for now that is 🙂

We’re loving it.

And loving that it’s done.

Hopefully, next year we’ll be working on adding some outdoor furniture to the space, maybe an outdoor rug and some potted plants. Oh I can’t wait!

So what do you think? Does anyone else have claw fingers from staining or painting. I bet you’re loving the results like we are though.

Psst: You can read about our total deck adventure starting all the way at the beginning by clicking here.

My Inspiration this Week



It’s November, and you know what that means?

It means I can officially start talking about Christmas without people looking at me like I’m a crazy person. Yup I’m one of those people.  What can you expect from me, I grew up with a mother who began listening to Christmas music at the beginning of October.  I think I’m pretty well adjusted considering.

Anyway, I’ve been pinning like crazy all of my favorite Christmas idea because I know these things take time and if I want to make anything I’ll have to start now. Here are a few of my favorites right.

You can view my entire Christmas Board on Pinterest here or Follow Me on Pinterest to see all my Latest Finds.

Christmas Button Tree – Source: Unknown via Pinterest

Felt Ball Wreath via Pickles

Stacked Sugar Cookies via Martha Stewart

Button Christmas Tree on Canvas via Balzer Designs

Felted Ball Garland via Small Bird Blog


Take Glowing Pictures of your Christmas Tree via Unskinny Boppy

Best Laid Plans



As some of you may have heard the Northeast got quite the snowstorm Saturday. Yes that is right SNOW in OCTOBER in New Jersey. If you live somewhere that experiences a foot or more of snow October you may be snickering at us right now. But seriously this is not normal especially not 1 foot or more of SNOW, in my opinion snow with leaves still on the trees just looks weird.

Needless to say it put a bit of a cramp in our plans to finally finish staining the deck. We were making some progress until the freak storm of 2011 took over. Unfortunately, I only managed to take a few pics of the progress before the storm arrived mostly because I wasn’t expecting the storm.

It’s looking really good, now let’s just cross our finger and pray that the snow melts and there is one more nice day to finish it up!

The good news is that since we had a forced day inside and a nice long nap time courtesy of my son, I finally have been able to take some time and focus in on some of the changes we want to make to our Master Bedroom. It’s a total departure from what I had original Yellow and Gray plan but I think I’m in love.

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