I found this week's treasure at a local estate sale - an old walnut piano bench. I immediately fell in love with the wood carvings on both ends. It had quite a bit of charm as it was, but I decided to put a little bit of myself into it...
I cleaned up the wood and chose not to paint it because I love the aged, rustic look of it. I upholstered the seat by stapling three layers of batting and the fabric around the top. My splurge was the boldly patterned fabric in rich golds, oranges, reds, and browns. I love the contrast between the luxurious fabric and the distressed look of the wood. I designed the piece to go in our dining room... we always seem to need extra seating in there so this fits perfectly!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I was immediately drawn to our home's outdoor space and backyard when Jon and I were house hunting. In fact, the deck, covered patio, and yard were one of the main reasons we decided to buy our current home. The only problem is the dull concrete patio floor. I have been wanting to stain it for a long time and I've finally convinced Jon that we can do it ourselves. Trust me - if we can lay a tile floor (yes! we have), we can do this.
So for those of you that have a patio, walkway, driveway or basement floor that needs a little life, maybe you can try it too.
After you've answered these questions, you will be able to select what type of stain is right for your project:
How old is your concrete?
Is it rough or smooth?
Are their stains that need to be addressed?
Are their imperfections (cracks, etc.) that you want to accentuate for a rustic look or hide for a more clean, polished look?
There are three types of concrete stains: acid stains, solvent-based stains, and acrylic-based stains. You can select the type you need by using your answers to the questions listed above.
1. Acid stains - These work by binding to free lime in the concrete. Because most of the lime has leached out of older concrete, they are not ideal for concrete that is older than ten years. You will see examples of this type of stain in restaurants, stores, etc. Acid stains accentuate imperfections in the concrete, so if you have cracks that you want to minimize, don't use this stain. The surface needs to be very smooth to get the best effect and there will be variations in depth of color penetration. This type of stain is the most durable.
2. Solvent-based stains - If you have an older concrete slab, use a solvent or water-based stain. The main difference is that a solvent-based stain is more durable. Both types will tend to mask small imperfections in the concrete as opposed to acid stains which will accentuate them. You will need a rough concrete surface so the stain will soak into the concrete. If your surface is smooth, there are multiple commercially available etching solutions that will roughen up your surface. These stains are absorbed more evenly and so give a more uniform appearance than acid stains.
3. Water-based stains - These are very similar to solvent-based stains except they are not as durable. However, if you are going "green," this is the type to use - they do not emit any harmful chemicals as they dry.
The fabulous thing about these stains is that you can find them is just about any color you prefer. Think about how your walkway would look with a warm, toasty brown or a muted red...
Our patio is over thirty years old and rough with a few small cracks and imperfections that I think will add character to the space. So I chose a solvent-based stain from Sherwin-Williams.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
My sister-in-law and her husband want to give their dining room a new look. They have an oak pedestal dining table that seats six, but the Windsor chairs are not quite her style. She told me she wants to give the room a "vintage modern" look. She had some beautiful aqua silk window treatments and wanted to paint the walls with a cool silvery, gray. I suggested using different shades or finishes of the paint to created wide vertical stripes down to the existing chair rail and then paint solid gray below the chair rail. I'm working on creating a mix and match set of dining chairs to add color to the room and to give her that "vintage modern" look that she wants.
I started with these two chairs.
The first one isn't so bad, but the second...ugh.
I painted each chair a warm white and reupholstered the seats with a punchy fabric in bold oranges, aqua, and yellow. I thought the fabric gave her the "vintage modern" look and added some much needed color into the room.
I call this one "i dream of jeannie." I'm placing two of these (identical) at each end of the table.
This is "orange sherbert." I have three other chairs in various styles that I'll paint the same warm white and upholster the seats in this same fabric. They will be the center four chairs.
This is a work in progress...I'll post pics of the finished room once it's done!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
It's already Friday again?? I must admit that I had a difficult time coming up with something to restyle this week. I finally found something and have been in a mad rush to have it done by today. Oh, and the fact that my 3 year old has decided that he is finished with naps definitely contributed to my frazzled state!
A few days ago, my mother-in-law brought me this old picnic table set to put in a yard sale that I'm having soon. In the past, she generously offered her vanity chair for me to restyle and has mentioned giving me another piece to work on as well. However, when she brought the picnic table up, there was no discussion on restyling...just on selling it in a yard sale. That is because this table is old. And worn. And dirty. And ugly. (I don't feel bad saying this as I'm sure she would agree). I would have never spent money on this (in it's current state) to restyle. However, as it landed in our backyard I couldn't help but think, "Is it possible to make this look even a little appealing?" I argued back and forth with myself and finally decided to take on the challenge.
The most wonderful part of no napping now means that I have a little helper. It also means that these projects take twice as long! But that's the beautiful part of it all, isn't it? He loved hosing down the table and squeezing dish soap on to it. I scrubbed it and sanded it down and then proceeded with the painting while he continuously stirred the paint with the Home Depot stick. I used an exterior creamy white paint (didn't spend money on this; already had it). I then taped off alternating planks and sprayed the remainder with an interior/exterior black spray paint.
The result is
A) a distressed yet whimsical take on the modern picnic table
B) an old, worn picnic table painted black and white
You decide...I haven't yet.
Oh, and one more thing. We'll do "Drab to Fab Friday" every other week from here on out. Jude may not be taking a nap. But I sure need one.
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