Bench Makeover & How to Calculate Fabric Yardage

My friend just moved into her new home, and is having a lot of fun making it her own. She luckily received some hand-me-down furniture (we all know how expensive it can be to furnish a new space), and wanted help revamping this bench for her guestroom! It had a really sturdy base, but the upholstered top was dirty and outdated. This fix took LESS THAN 1 HOUR – including going to the store and buying fabric! Here’s how we did it, including how to calculate fabric yardage. 

Style Trials Bench makeover no-sew hgtv chevron fabric - How to Recover an Upholstered Bench

We proceeded to Jo-Ann Fabrics (which is 2 minutes from my house), and immediately started looking at their upholstery designer fabrics. I like to pair larger organic prints such as paisley or florals with hardlines such as stripes or a mini print. We fell in love with this grey HGTV chevron fabric which is part of the HGTV designer fabric collection. It offset her paisley bedspread and green walls quite nice, and is a trendy print that would immediately bring this bench back to life!

Grey chevron and printed paisley fabric Style Trials

Figuring out the yardage was pretty easy, so I’m going to quickly walk you through a little math lesson. Luckily I have an interior design degree and worked with custom fabric treatments (i.e. windows coverings, pillows, etc), but I know this can be the hardest part and potentially a costly mistake. Using these tips on how to calculate fabric yardage will hopefully help!

How to Calculate Fabric Yardage

First, we measured the area being recovered. This bench was only 45″ wide and the fabric bolt was 55″ wide, so we didn’t have to worry about seams or railroading (turning the bolt sideways) the fabric. 55 inches minus 45 inches = 10″ total of allowance (or 5″ per side) to wrap around the back of the bench and staple – perfect! Next I had to figure out the depth so I could determine how much fabric I needed cut from the bolt.

The bench was about 16″ deep, and I wanted to allow an extra 4″-5″ on either side for staple-gun allowance. 16 inches + 5 inches (allowance top) + 5 inches (allowance bottom) = 26″ total. That’s what I based my overall yardage on, since the 55″ width of the bolted fabric is a standard that stays the same as they simply unroll the bolt for how much fabric you need.

From here, you take the amount in inches (in this case 26″), and ALWAYS divide by 36 to convert inches into yardage of fabric needed. That gave me 0.72 yards of fabric needed. I typically round up to the nearest 1/4 yard because it doesn’t hurt to get just a little extra fabric in case your calculations are off. You can judge this yourself based on how much seam allowance you included and how far off from the next 1/4 yard you are. We ordered 0.75 or 3/4 of a yard.

How to Recover an Upholstered Bench No-Sew Technique

  1. We started by unscrewing the top of the upholstered bench from the base using a drill.
  2. We decided the new chevron fabric was thick enough that we could simply recover the bench over the existing fabric, that way we didn’t damage the padding or loose it’s shape. If you can do this, it makes the entire process SO much easier.
  3. We laid the face of the chevron fabric down so it was facing the ground. Then we put the board on top, front side down. Because this is a geometric print with a repeat, I wanted to measure to make sure it was evenly spaced out on the fabric. I measured the center of the board (where the purple pen is shown below) and lined it up with the center of a chevron point like this. I also eyeballed where I wanted it to hit on the sides. style trials Measuring fabric to recover seat - How to Calculate Fabric YardageIf you’re not sure, you can always wrap the fabric around the board with your hands and look at it real quick to make sure you like how it’s placed. It’s always better to double check!
  4. Next, we proceeded with stapling the fabric around all 4 sides before proceeding to the corners. Make sure to read my tutorial from when I recovered my kitchen chairs on exactly how to do this, and how to fold the corners which can be the trickiest part.Staple nosew recover fabric tutorial diy - How to Calculate Fabric Yardage
  5. From there, simply drill the seat back on the benchtop and you’re done!

Before & After Pics:

Before and After Bench Seat Recovered - How to Recover an Upholstered BenchStyle Trials Bench Recover Before And After - How to Recover an Upholstered Bench

Style Trials Bench Makeover After Grey Chevron Print

Not too shabby for less than an hours worth of work, huh? She plans to eventually stain the piece darker and add new hardware, but at least now it looks fresh and part of this century! :)

What do you think of the finished piece and have you tried doing anything like this before? If so, let me know below…I’d love to see your before and after pictures!

 


We Got Another Puppy! How to Introduce your New Puppy to your Resident Dog

This post brought to you by American Kennel Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hubby and I noticed that our long-haired chihuahua, Milo, is extremely social but has lost a little spunk this past year. We don’t think it’s because he’s getting older (he still acts like a puppy around other dogs), but rather that he’s at home by himself all day. He needed a friend…I mean, look how high-strung he was? :)

We’re excited to announce that we adopted another furry friend this past weekend. Meet Charlie Bear. :)

Charlie is a purebred AKC registered long-haired chihuahua, just like his soon-to-be brother Milo. When researching, I found great resources on the AKC website that can definitely help anyone interested in finding a dog. For example, they have this tool where you can search for breeds to get info on each kind such as grooming details, temperament, size, and where you kind find breeders. We figured going with the same breed would probably make the most sense for us, since we are familiar with long-haired chihuahuas and hoped they would bond quicker. I also liked that they have an AKC Rescue Network, where you can find dogs that need a new home.

Whether you’re getting your new furbaby from a breeder or a shelter, of course you’ll want to do your research. Getting a dog is a major life decision, so here are a few tips/questions I found to think about when making your choice.

Breeder Questions

1.) If working with a breeder, make sure the breeder is responsible. You should ask to see the puppy, the parents (or at least one of them so you can get an idea of what your puppy’s future may hold), and the premises where the puppy is being cared for. It should be clean and odor free, and the puppy should be well fed and not appear sickly.

2.) Pay attention to how the pup interacts with the breeder. Does it shy away from the breeder? Does the breeder seem to genuinely care about the puppy?

3.) Don’t expect to bring the puppy home until it is 8-12 weeks old. The puppy needs that time with it’s mom and littermates for socialization and to grow strong.

4.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The breeder should want to answer all of your questions, and likewise want the puppy to go to a good home. Good questions to ask would be about the breed’s strengths/weaknesses, any knowledge of genetic diseases, and documents. The breeder should be able to share proof of health and make sure the pup is up-to-date on it’s shots/vet visits while still under their care.

Below is a great example of responsible breeders…and seriously, can we talk about how cute these mini wirehaired dachshund puppies are?!

Shelter Questions

1.) Don’t be afraid to ask why the dog is in a shelter. Was it rescued, a stray, surrendered by the previous owner (and if so, why)? That knowledge may help determine what kind of care the dog will need.

2.) What was the health condition of the dog when he came to the shelter, and what kind of vet care has the dog received since? Are there any special medical conditions or dietary needs you should know about?

3.) Training – is the dog housebroken, good around kids, other pets, strangers, etc?

Of course Milo will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’ll never forget the first day I brought him home.

We read a lot on how to introduce your new puppy to your resident dog, and went with these steps. It went flawless, so I wanted to share!

Tips on Introducing your New Puppy to your Resident Dog

  1. Introduce your dog to the puppy on neutral ground, that way he won’t get territorial. Avoid your house and yard. We let them meet at a school playground down the road so there was a lot of open space, and did this on the weekend so there wasn’t anyone else around.
  2. Ideally you should put them both on the ground, and stand with your legs apart in case the puppy gets scared and wants to seek refuge under you. Avoid holding the puppy and letting the dog smell him because he will feel trapped.
  3. Keep a CLOSE eye on them, and if any fights break out of course separate them. Luckily Milo is a little lover, so I didn’t have to worry about fights.
  4. Bring them back to your home, and let them start out in your yard before bringing them inside. Baby steps. I let them both hang out on our back porch too, then finally brought them inside.
  5. From here, try to keep your schedule that you had with the resident dog the same. You don’t want him to resent the puppy, and of course always keep an eye on them when together until they are very comfortable around each other.

dog meeting puppy for first time style trials

I admit I was nervous for the transition and having to train a puppy again, but I just know once they get comfortable they will be best buds. Charlie already seems pretty comfortable himself.

long haired Chihuahua puppy style trials

They really are so much more than just pets, aren’t they?

Do you have any tips or ideas on introducing a new puppy to your resident dog? I’d love to hear them, so leave me a comment below!

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Spring Trend 2014: Mexico Inspiration

This post brought to you by Majestical Jewelry. All opinions are 100% mine.

Spring is finally here! And I’m loving the Mexican inspired looks that were all over the runway for Spring 2014. This ranges from prints/colors such as oranges, reds, and turquoise, to pretty embroidery, off-the-shoulder sleeves, and ruffles. Depending on how you wear this trend, it could range from cool and a little boho to soft and feminine like this.

mexican inspired outfit runway

Mara Hoffman’s Mara Mexicana
Photo Credit: honestlywtf.com

Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2014 Mexico Tee
Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2014 Mexico Tee
Photo Credit: http://www.stylecaster.com
christian siriano runway mexico inspiration

Christian Siriano runway Mexico inspiration.
Photo Credit: http://www.stylecaster.com

Here’s how I pulled off the look with items already in my closet.

Style Trials OOTD Spring 2014 Mexican inspired topLiving Doll top from Macy’s. This top says it all, but honestly it was hard to style. I went with high-waisted shorts from Urban Outfitters (theirs are THE BEST), and casual wedges that had a natural straw sole and fun wrap around ankle feature.

Also, my friends at Majestical Jewelry sent me these fun dangly earrings from their fashion jewelry collection. I like that you can dress them up or wear them with a casual outfit like this. I love pairing gold accessories with a Mexican inspired look, as well as natural stones.  On the Edge Cluster Earrings Majestical JewelryThese On the Edge Cluster earrings are actually really affordable at only $13.50, and Majestical Jewelry has a TON of other awesome accessories ranging from silver to pearls. If you feel like picking up a pair yourself, Style Trialers can use promo code: TWENTYOFFNOW to take 20% off any order or promo code: 15DOLLARSOFF to take $15.00 off any order of $55 or more. There’s also free returns, free exchanges, and free gift packaging with every order.

Style Trials Majestical Jewelry on the edge cluster earrings Style Trials OOTD Spring 2014 Mexican InspirationMaterial Girl dress from Macy’s. I like the flirty little cutouts in the dress and shoes, along with the bold print.

Style Trials Milo Longhaired Chihuahua

In his true chihuahua fashion, Milo fittingly decided to make an appearance during the photoshoot. :)

How will you wear this Mexican inspired Spring trend? What other Spring trends are you loving?


Friday Freebie! Free Wedding Guest Book from Shutterfly ($29.99 Value)

Okay, you don’t have to use it as a wedding guest book, but what a great idea, huh?! I’ve seen photo books used in a variety of ways around weddings. From being part of the creative way a groom pops the question, to showcasing a couple’s engagement pictures with spaces for people to write their well wishes, it’s definitely a great way to personalize the “story of us.” This Friday Freebie is for a free 8X11 hardback 20-page custom photo book from Shutterfly. Hurry and claim promo code now as these things go quick…and the best part is you don’t have to actually make it until 3/16!Style Trials Free Wedding Guest Book Shutterfly Custom Photo Book

Simply click here, “like” Shutterfly on Facebook if you haven’t already, then click to claim your code. Once you get your code, go ahead and add it to your account by clicking “make guest book.” It will take you to the Shutterfly page, where you can either create a new account or log into your existing one. You must enter your promo code when you log in so your free book is stored until you make it. This freebie expires March 16th, so you’ll have to make it by then. This is a $29.99 freebie value, and shipping is $8.99 and not included in the deal.

What will you create with your book?


OOTD 5: Transitioning from Winter to Spring

Florida weather has been really fickle throughout this time (like everywhere else except without snow – I promise I’m not complaining!), but lately it’s been b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. In this OOTD, I wanted to inspire with looks that can help transition you from Winter to Spring. I was heading out and about to run errands with my hubby and pooch (long-haired chihuahua named Milo) on this beautiful weekend day.

Style Trials OOTD winter to spring 2Although sunny and warm, there was a bit of a wind chill in the air, so I pulled together this outfit with short, flat boots, a burgundy felt hat, and a holy knit sweater. The holy sweater gives a lighter look for Spring because of the holes (when compared to a solid knits), and it adds an interest of texture. The open knit also pulls together the suede on my shoes and the felt in the hat, which are warmer materials. The floral lightweight shorts of course give this a cooler, relaxed look that all together is a great transition into Spring.

Style Trials OOTD winter to springI added the purse for a fun pop of color. However, if I had a fringe purse, I think that would have worked as well.

We came across an abandoned soccer field, and stopped to let Milo run around and play in the grass.

Style Trials OOTD winter to spring 4 Style Trials Felt Hat Burgendy

I am in love with this hat, and looked long and hard for one that was perfect. I found this online at Tobi. I knew I wanted a burgundy hat, and also one that wasn’t too floppy. I’m also obsessed with my Alex and Ani bracelets, and like to stack them. Style Trials Alex and Ani stacked bracelets love jewels and sister Style Trials OOTD winter to spring 3 I paired the outfit with simple “adult” pigtails, which were really easy to do. I simply did a loose braid on either side, then pulled out strands so it had a messier, boho-chic vibe.

Boots: Vince Camuto Tricera booties in taupe | Floral Shorts: Tobi, similar, similar| Holy Sweater: Old, similar, similar | Felt Hat:  Tobi, similar (I may even like Forever 21 wool hat better!) | Purse: Tory Burch cross-body bags | Bracelets: Alex & Ani bangle bracelets

What tips and tricks do you have for transitioning your style from Winter to Spring?


How to do a High Top Knot Bun like Nicole Richie

Bun hairstyles are still going strong. And what’s not to love? They can save you from rainy days, bad beach hair, or simply when you just don’t feel like styling washing your hair. From my tutorial on how to do a messy bun or a sleek doughnut  bun, you saw that there’s different types of buns that range from glam to boho chic. This tutorial is focusing on the high, top knot bun that Nicole Richie is famous for. Plus, it’s SUPER easy and takes less than 2 minutes to do!

Style Trials Nicole Richie top knot bun with bangs

Photo Credit: whowhatwhere.com

Style Trials Nicole Richie High Top Knot Bun Hairstyle

Photo Credit: youreatulle.blogspot.com

You’ll see a top knot is supposed to be a tighter styled bun, taller, and right on top of your head. Doesn’t Nicole Richie’s top knot look adorable? Kinda makes me want bangs.

Because it’s a simple hairstyle, it really lets smokey eyes, a bright lip, or a killer outfit take the stage. For me, I also found that this is the easiest and quickest bun if you have fine or thin hair. It actually looks best because with a top knot, you want the base of the bun to be as small as possible, which pushes up height on the bun. Checkout my 2 minute tutorial below:

How to do a High Top Knot Bun like Nicole Richie

 You don’t technically HAVE to have bobby pins, so if you need a quick fix and only have a hair-tie, this would still work.

Style Trials high top knot bun hair tutorial

Have you tried a top knot or any of these other kinds of bun hairstyles? Leave me a comment!


Master Bedroom Makeover 1: New Bed, Bedding, and Mattress

When we moved into our first home, we knew right away we wanted to buy new Master bedroom furniture. We only had the hubby’s bed and dressers from college, and wanted to re-purpose those in our first guest room. We also had hopes of getting a new mattress and upgrading to a King Bed. Knowing me, this was a long process because I wanted to get it right and not just settle….and that meant figuring out exactly what it was I did want. I’m happy to say our Master is now my favorite room in our house! This will be broken up into a few posts, and I’m going to focus this on our first step. The actual bed makeover.

Master King Bed Makeover Skyline Upholstered Barbara Barry poetical style trials

 I knew I wanted a serene, hotel feel to the Master, and was literally stalking my favorite home decor website Joss & Main everyday. If you haven’t heard of Joss & Main, they have discounted high quality designer furniture and accessories, but it’s a flash sale site. That means their products are only on sale for a few days. I first spotted this awesome upholstered bed there, but didn’t purchase right away because they have a no-return policy. Instead, we actually bought the mattress first.

We got our mattress at Denver Mattress Company, part of Furniture Row. They had a bunch of designer mattresses ranging from Sealy to TEMPUR-Pedic, and a variety of styles ranging from inner-spring to memory foam. We shopped around layed around and found our perfect match – the Serta iComfort!

style trials icomfort serta mattress master bedroom

Photo Credit: www.mattress-inquirer.com

Here’s why we chose the iComfort® Sleep System by Serta®:

  • Made with revolutionary Cool Action™ Gel Memory Foam – the world’s first memory foam infused with the support and cooling touch of Serta’s MicroSupport® gel.
  • Gel memory foam is designed to provide enhanced cooling comfort and more support where you need it for a cool, comfortable and supportive sleep experience.
  •  Serta offered a variety of iComfort models, and we went with iComfort Savant comfort level (in the middle, not too soft but not too hard)

I’m not going to pretend this mattress wasn’t expensive, but we figured a good mattress is an investment we should make and can last up to 20 years. After all, a human spends 1/3 of their life sleeping! Isn’t that crazy when you think about it?! We did upgrade to the King size, but opted out of the adjustable bed frame for now.

Next came the upholstered bed.

style trials skyline upholsetered bed with nail head

I seriously am in LOVE with this Skyline upholstered bed I found at Joss & Main , and it was a steal at around $700 for a King size bed (not just the headboard). Although Joss & Main is a flash sale site, I found that it’s not unusual for many items to be repeated throughout a month. My bed kept coming up, but I kept getting cold feet because I knew I couldn’t return it. I finally realized that Joss & Main is owned by Wayfair, and I could read customer reviews on my products there.

This Skyline bed got rav reviews, so I finally pulled the plug and purchased the Talc color. I admit I was still worried it may be a little too light in color, but it’s actually a really nice light linen color with tan cross-hatched fibers throughout. From a distance, it actually takes on a slightly light grey tone. I was also worried about getting the King size as I thought it may overpower the room, but found that because this bed is lower to the ground than our old Queen bed, it actually made the room look larger! I also love how the nail heads in this bed are individually placed, rather than a cheap trim that’s all attached.

Next came the bedding.

Master King Bed Makeover Skyline Upholstered Barbara Barry poetical style trials 2

I looked high and low for a pattern I liked. Seriously, I looked at Macy’s, West Elm, ZGallarie, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Ross and Marshalls, Kohl’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond. I fell in love with this serene Barbara Barry Poetical duvet at BBB. It was light, neutral, had interest because of the pattern, and was dark enough to contrast with the upholstered bed. Since I live in Florida but like a little weight in a comforter, I filled it with Macy’s Hotel Collection Primaloft All Season Comforter.  I preferred down alternative not only for the price, but also because I wanted to be able to wash it. It’s worked out great so far.

To go along with my bedding, I wanted to add a little “glam” with silky tones and a hint of color. I found the perfect quilt or coverlet also at Bed Bath & Beyond, which happened to also be by Barbara Barry and actually called Glamour! Haha, perfect!

Style Trials Bed Makeover Barbara Barry glamour quilt coverlet

I think this definitely adds a little interest to the combo, and makes the bed more luxurious. I also purchased 2 matching accent pillows. Master King Bed Makeover Skyline Upholstered Barbara Barry poetical style trials 3

Here’s a shot of the room BEFORE, then after the bed was added but everything else was still the same. I had some big plans for the windows, dressers, nightstands, lamps, etc. There’s been SO much more done since then, so you’ll have to make sure to subscribe to Style Trials (and click the verification link in the email it sends you) so you don’t miss the full view!

BEFORE:

style trials bedroom before makeover

AFTER:

Master King Bed Makeover Skyline Upholstered Barbara Barry poetical style trials

Big improvement, huh?

What is your Master Bedroom style? I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the first phase of this makeover – leave me a comment below!


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