Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Flower Series

Flowers can make such a difference in your home.  After talking about how I wished we had them more often, on our anniversary this year, Seth gifted me flowers every week.

Sometimes he'll skip a week, and some weeks he gets two arrangements. They give me the happies every time, and add so much color and texture in our home.   So I thought it might be nice to start a new series of flowers in our pad.

Here's the latest addition:

No arranging of these roses, I'll admit.  They're just as Seth left them. :)

Isn't it amazing what some flowers can do?

Monday, April 25, 2011

How to Add Padding under Slipcovers - Wing Chair Update!

This is kind of a how-to... but I'm hesitant to call it that because it's really just more of a "how I did it" post. 

You may remember how I mentioned the new (new to us, that is) wing chairs arrived in all their glory.  Prettiness all around!  But some of the texture from the underlying upholstery was showing through, and my lovely MIL mentioned some batting might do the trick if it was bothering me. 

Off to Hancock Fabrics...

I purchased some batting (Low Loft, Queen Size polyester batting).  Two bags. One for each chair.

Here's where you're in for some fun: For the first time in who-knows-how-long, I haven't even Googled this.  That's right.  Everything accomplished was due to some head-scratching and "why don't I just..." moments.  That means YOU  my dear readers, may just get to point and laugh.  Because, even as I'm writing this, I have no idea if there was a better way to have done it.  If you know any tips, please share them below.  I still have one chair to cover!

Ready for the how-to how-I-did-it post?

Umm-kay, so...  You get your batting and figure out how to wrap a portion of your piece with it.  For me, it was the bottom portion.

Then you trim around it.

And it looks like this:

Next, I wrapped the arms of the chair.

Then the back, gathering the extra fabric and holding it place with a "chip clip" on the back.

Then I hand-stitched the batting on the arms to the batting on the back.

On the back, where the batting shouldn't move at all and people won't be sitting, I just stapled the batting together (not to the chair, of course).

With this chair, there were quite a few "seams" I needed to stitch to get a really snug fit, but there's the simple explanation.  And here's the difference.

Before...  You can see the texture of the fabric underneath the slipcovers.

Before adding batting
After adding the batting:

No bumps!


Here are some full-length shots:

The back even looks smoother. By the way, this is one of my favorite angles of any wing back chair.  If I angle it towards the corner I would.  (Cue:  "In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be..."). 

One down. One to go. 

Any tips for the next chair?  Are ya' pointing and laughing because I should have at least consulted the internet-machine before plunging into this one?  Do you have experience with batting, or adding padding underneath slipcovers?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We're Replacing the Seagrass Rug with a...

... well, a seagrass rug.

I know what you're thinking: "Wow! This is so exciting!  She's so original, so daring!  I love a girl who takes risks like she does." So here's the full story. 

It all started a couple of years ago when Seth's mom gifted us a Pottery Barn seagrass rug she had used for years (although it looked brand new, no kidding).  It was the first rug we ever owned for our place.  Wait a second.  It's still the only rug we have owned our place.  (We need one for the dining room, and maybe the bedroom.  I'm thinking on those...)

The problem started after getting our sofa steam cleaned after its arrival.  The company didn't use drop cloths to prevent the liquid/cleaning solution from spilling all over the rug, so I put towels underneath it to let the seagrass dry while the hardwoods were protected from the moisture.  Unfortunately, seagrass isn't meant to get wet.  The result was this big swerve around the sofa area:

Our seagrass rug after water damage - see the curve?
After months of "the swerve" bothering me, I called the steaming company and asked what they might be able to do.  They sent someone to take pictures and called about a week later.  They're going to replace the full value of the rug!  Wa-hoo!

I've had my eye on a few rugs for awhile.  Like this one from West Elm.

West Elm Zigzag Rug

It's been seen a lot in the last couple of years, like in Ashley Wick's apartment in Lonny Magazine.

Via Lonny Mag

Via Lonny Mag

I want it. But George is now about 90 pounds... and I swear half of that is hair.  American bulldogs are suppose to be light shedders, but it certainly doesn't seem like it.  Our seagrass rug has just about 2-1/2 inches of black trim.  You can clean it one day, and the next it's ready for a new rub-down.  I love George, but I also love this rug.  So he has to go.  Does anyone want this dog?

George on the seagrass... Shedding in his sleep.
Leave a comment below if you're interested in this great specimen of a dog that's keeping me from my rug.  But then again, I'm keeping myself from other rugs I want.  I'm a clutz, so I spill things, and as much as I love this rug it has no chance against my "oh no!" butterfingers and the dirt from the doggies.  Here's just one more I've to considered.  But again, spills and doggie-paw dirt are an issue.

West Elm Andalusia Rug

Emily Henderson used the Andalusia Rug in a recent episode of "Secrets from a Stylist".

Via Emily Henderson
Via Emily Henderson
I love them both, but the seagrass stands the test of time, beauty and dogs.  It should be delivered in about a week, so I'll post a follow-up.

Any experience with seagrass rugs?  Any rug lustin' going on in your parts?  What do you think of the chevron / zigzag and Andalusia rugs from West Elm?  Like 'em?  Think we could keep them clean if I changed my mind?

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Monday, April 18, 2011

I want this desk... and we need an office

Right now Seth's working at the dining room table every day.  It's actually a great work space regarding space, but not for organization or tidiness. Imagine me walking in after work... receipts from expense reports, laptop, folders, business cards, random sheets of paper sitting beside the china.  It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Our guest bedroom / dog's room / dressing room / tv room / storage room / catch-all room / office needs some attention and I'm hoping to create a work space that really works. 

Obviously a desk on the top of the list, and I really love this one.  You may have seen it in my Wists

The driftwood color is beautiful and I love the silhoutette.  Unfortunately there's not a lot of storage/drawer space, but I've found that most desks I'm drawn to actually don't have many drawers.  Weird.  But it has these two neat-o pull-out drawers that would probably have little use in real life:

It's the Campaign Desk from World Market. I stopped into the store last weekend and it's just as pretty as I hoped it would be.  The only problem (besides the storage issue) is the size.

It's 60" wide--just about a foot shy of a twin bed, and with all of the roles this space must play, I'm afraid it won't work.  Plus that one center drawer is pretty shallow.

But here's one more pic to show you how I'm that dork arranging and taking pictures with her iPhone in the middle of the store.  I took this last one (with the baskets) to give myself an idea of how some extra storage might work.  Not that it matters.  (Yeah, I'm pouting.)

What's in your home office?  Any tips for making the bedroom/office work? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wing Chairs are Here

I told you how excited I was about our vintage wing chairs, that belong to my mother-in-law and were in our aunt's home (Seth's, technically... but she feels like mine).

They're here!

Vintage Wing Chairs
I heard Seth on the phone talking to his mom about them and he quickly walked in the other room.  I asked what that was all about... He said his mom just mentioned that, like her when she was my age, I'm still defining my style.... but if we took them, regardless of if my tastes change, they need stay in the family and not end up on Craigslist.   Ummmm... She's totally right.  I'm a work in progress and find "shiny" things and get all engrossed in them, like these wing chairs that are completely on-trend right now.   I love that she knows that about me!

So just a couple of weeks or so ago, I felt like I walked down the aisle with these beautiful pieces.  From death do us part they're in the family. *Gulp.*  I don't do well with commitment but am so grateful to commit to these.

These originally belonged to my MIL's aunt.  She says as a girl they were covered in some amazing (but kinda crazy) fabric and had fringe on the back.  She called them her "princess chairs" and always felt like royalty sitting in them.  I love that. 

My MIL had custom slipcovers made for them awhile back in the most versatile white.  Some of the underlying fabric texture shows through, but she had some great ideas for alleviating those... more on that soon.

Dining Room in Progress

They make such a difference in the room. It's definitely a work in progress but they literally were like a dream come true.  I love them and am so grateful to my MIL and Aunt.  I had been stalking Craigslist and getting upholstery quotes for months (you may have even noticed a few of these in the Wists in my sidebar), then they offered them to us. 

Sorry for the crooked photo.  I was on my way to the office during lunch and George was banging against my leg... no time for much else.  The single curtain on the left is a work-in-progress (and another post coming soon).

Side note: Apparently they're not called wing back chairs.  Just "wing chairs".  I learned from Google.  Know-er of all things... or something.

Any family heirlooms you've enjoyed?  Do you like the wing backs?  

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TRADhome Premiere Issue is Live!

Check out the premiere issue of TRADhome, Lonny's latest collaboration with Traditional Home!

Enjoy.  Can't wait to check it out myself.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Highlights from High Gloss Magazine - April/May issue

This Saturday morning I carved out some time to read the latest issue of High Gloss Magazine.  It's their second issue and some of the features were really inspiring.

My favorite feature was designer Sara Tuttle's apartment.  I love the mix of vintage pieces, modern lines, color and personality. 

Sara Tuttle's living room


Bedroom. Pets make great accessories
I noticed they used a few statement pieces in multiple shots, like the flowers in the black and white striped pot (shown in the office and the living room), the pink pillow (shown on the bed and living room) and the lamp (shown on the Saarinen dining table and on the desk in her office).

I love Michelle Armas's work and was happy to see her Q&A feature (page 86).  Side note: I discovered Michelle when I was surfing Craigslist.  She was selling some beautiful chairs and I contacted her about them (I decided they wouldn't work for us, but her home was beautiful). I did some Googling and found her blogFollow her blog and become a "dork".

All images via High Gloss Magazine

Do you like most about Sara's home? Have you checked out the art by Michelle Armas?  Do anything fun this weekend yourself?

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Living Room Progress - Dresser for TV

Just a year or so ago, here's what our living room looked like.  I'm sure you'll agree it was time to replace the dorm-room-esque corner TV stand of the hubby's.

BEFORE - Wall with the television... and Bonnie.

After considering all the options, I decided to look for a mid-century dresser, instead of an entertainment unit or tv stand. Ya see, the tv dictates about 50% of our "living room" time, but I tried my best to think of how I would decorate it if it wasn't dictating the space.  Lots of ideas came to mind, then I windled them all down to the question "since we do have a tv what makes sense?".  A dresser seemed to be the best compromise between design, storage and technology.

And then I found a spectacular piece on the house of Craig.  It was great... wonderfully made, great lines, but just transitional enough to last through a number of years.  And six drawers!  Much more than the average TV stand. 

But it was $1,200.  While I appreciated the beauty and functionality I didn't want to spend all that jazz (I make up substitute words, by the way, so in case you aren't following jazz = dollahs) on one dresser.  I kept watching Craigslist for several weeks... maybe months.  It was posted again at $1,000 and I was still obsessed, but unwilling to make the plunge.  Then one fateful evening, after reading some random article about the fear of commitment and getting myself pumped, I made a phone call to see if the price was negotiable.

We went to see it.  It looked good.  And apparently the lady selling it had an antique store in NYC before moving to Greater-Birmingham. (She had LOTS of other stuff) and had purchased it for around $3,000 in New York years ago.

My hubby's a great negotiator when charged, and we came in at less than half of the original $1,200 asking price.

Here's the result:

AFTER / In progress - Living room wall.  Danish modern dresser for television.

Yep, something still needs to happen behind that wall (still thinkin' stripes) but it's an improvement, RIGHT?  Doesn't feel as much like a dorm room now, and really opens up the space (plus, storage to boot! Hallelujah!)

I'd love to hear what you think.  Experience with hard-balling your craigslist finds, working around electronics like the TV?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jasper Sofa in Da House

It's about time to post the results of our great Craigslist discovery that still has me reeling.
I was holding off until I could post some better photos with the new camera but these will give you an idea for now. Since I'm usually running errands or tackling a project on the weekends I have about 5 minutes during lunch to snap some pics, and these rainy days haven't made for great lighting.

At any rate, it's home.

Jasper Sofa from Room & Board + bulldog tail/paw.

Here's a close-up of the white microsuede. 

It's white, so it shows dirt easily (umm, duh) but thankfully microsuede is renowned for clean-ability.  In fact, I heard David Bromstad refer to it as "God's gift to stains" (or something like that) when he bestowed a white microsuede sofa to a client on Colorsplash.  

Now I'm on the hunt for pillows.  But then again, I think I'm always on the hunt for pillows.  I may even be a pillow hoarder. 

What do you think?  Anyone have experience with cleaning a white sofa clean (or, heck, any color)?   Do you think we should still consider getting the slipcover?


Friday, April 1, 2011

Adore Home Magazine

Do you know about the online Adore Home Magazine?  It's an Australian pub.


 Our Jasper sofa again popped up again!  Now if we could only have the rest of the house.

ikat. yummy

They're not afraid of color (which I love). Check it out:  Adore Home Magazine.

Hope you have a great weekend!