Saturday, November 29, 2014

How To Recover A Chair With A Shoestring

I recovered a chair for my son's apartment a few months ago and I'm eager to show you the before and after photos.

This was the chair that we've had in our bedroom for at least 20 years.  My father in law originally got it from one of his older neighbors.  It was very sturdy, but very out dated and stained - and pink.


I took the cushions off of the chair and removed all of the old fabric.  The cushions were still in good shape.  Then I spray painted the frame with Oil Rubbed Bronze paint.  After that, I stapled the new fabric (left over from a previous project) onto the cushion forms.

 I needed to cover up some of the staples on the back of the chair but I didn't want to purchase anything.  Thankfully, I always save extra strings, ribbons, and trim.  Out of my basket of trim, came a wide brown shoe lace.  Perfect!


Not bad for using supplies I already had on hand.

I made a pillow to go with it - again, using extra fabric, trim, and pillow stuffing.  The cross pieces are made from a khaki colored belt.

My son appreciates the extra seating in his living room and was happy that I didn't make the chair too "girly".

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Our Remodeled Utility Room Is Finally Done!

Our utility room is finally finished and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.

We hired a contractor to remodel our kitchen last year but our budget just couldn't be stretched enough to work on the connecting utility room.

When asked what I wanted for Christmas last year, I asked if we could work on the utility room/pantry this year.  Poor Hubs, I think he would have rather purchased a gift from the mall.  Even with a very limited budget and schedule, we worked on it steadily all year and just finished last week. It took several months of planning to figure out the layout but my Hubs is a genius and is very good at space planning.  He was so sweet to carefully consider all of my storage needs.  He measured all of my containers to make sure everything would fit.

Some of the walls and all of the cabinets and the ceiling were torn out during our kitchen demo.  We hobbled along with our little torn up utility room for almost a year.  It was  already an awkward, narrow space with two doors and a hot water heater.  The lighting was poor, the walls were a mess, there was a lack of storage, and our electrical panel was smack dab in the middle of one of the usable walls.

We purchased a stacking washer/dryer set when we bought our kitchen appliances to take advantage of a great sale.  Parts of our old set were literally held together with a paperclip and some duct tape.  We also bought a larger deep freeze to replace our smaller one.

Hubs built a wall in sections to separate the long, skinny room into two spaces.  The space with the hot water heater has become a closet that holds our vacuum cleaner, cleaning supplies, and the high chair we use for our grandchildren.

There was a lot of staring, discussing, and mumbling in that odd space.  I think it taxed Hub's brain to the max.  Plumbing and wiring is never fun.

Our ceiling was a drop ceiling with florescent lighting hanging within it.  Broken, stained, and pathetic - it needed to go.

The old lighting was certainly not flattering.  We had the electricians add an additional light switch to the room when they rewired our kitchen, but Hubs did the actual addition of the new lights.

Our new ceiling is made of bead board panels that can be removed, if needed, to get to the plumbing pipes.  The lighting is just small recessed lights (4 in total).  The hanging system hanging over the freezer is from Ikea.  I wanted something to hide the large, black dryer outlet.

With the old cabinets removed, all of the many paint colors were exposed - I'm only responsible for 2 of the colors and yellow isn't one of them.  The black rectangle is the electrical panel that I previously painted with chalkboard paint.

Our son was able to help with the heavy lifting.  Hubs built each shelf unit separately and added them one at a time.

After everything was painted and a counter top was added, it was starting to look like what we had imagined it could be.

I used baskets that I already had to store paper products and extra food.  The chicken picture was a painting my mother-in-law painted many years ago.  She passed away and never finished it (notice there is only half a chicken?).  I'm looking for a piece of chicken wire or basket to place under the chicken to finish it off.  The picture is attached to a bead board panel that can removed to reveal the electrical panel.

The right side of the washer dryer is the spot for the deep freeze and lots of shelving.  I wanted to have shallow shelving for my jars of baking supplies and dry goods.

I already had a lot of large jars, but I added a few more that I picked up at Walmart and World Market.

The two sets of shallow shelves took forever to paint but I love all of the storage.

I made chalkboard labels by cutting ovals out of chalkboard contact paper.  I used a chalk/bistro marker to write the ingredients on each label.  So far, they are holding up pretty well.

Now, I actually look forward to doing laundry!  This is the best Christmas present ever!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Tidy Brown Wren Shop

 I've been busy preparing for a Tidy Brown Wren Open House this coming Saturday, November 15th.  

After all, what's a mom to do when her last child moves out of the apartment over the garage?  It's too great of a space to just leave empty.  Want a sneak peak?

 Lots of treasures that are upcycled, recycled, vintage, or just plain cool.

The shop will be open from 9:00 until 5:00.  Stop by and enjoy some delicious goodies and do some Christmas shopping.   Email me at for directions.