My Kitchen Table Makeover – Easily Recover Chairs

Moving into my first house, I realized how little furniture we really had and how expensive it can be to furnish. Right now I’m trying to focus on buying things we don’t already own, and refreshing the hand-me-downs we do have. On my agenda today, our kitchen table!

Our total kitchen can only be described as BEIGE. As in beige walls, countertops, floors, and even appliances (until we eventually upgrade). I’m trying to bring in some color and life through prints, fabrics, and plants until I can add a little depth with the permanent surfaces.

We have a kitchen table which is in pretty good condition. It’s a hand-me-down, but the fabric on the chairs has definitely seen better days. I’m sure it could be cleaned to look better, but the dinginess and color (yep, beige), was a makeover project I was willing to take on.

It’s actually quite easy to give an old chair, bench, or ottoman a completely new look by simply recovering them with new fabric…and this method doesn’t require sewing because it’s just the seat! I admit this was my first attempt at recovering a chair using a staple gun, but seriously it was super easy. Even if you don’t have a DIY bone in your body, I’m sure you could pull this off. Here’s how….

First, figure out how much yardage you need and where you want the pattern to fall on the seat. I think I accounted for 1 yard per seat (taking the pattern into account), but I also found this handy pattern yardage calculator you could use.

Next, the tools to do the job. You can find a staple gun at any home improvement store, and the fabric I picked out was an HGTV Home fabric called Turtle Shell found at Joann Fabric. It’s on sale too! I know it’s a little loud, but I knew it would definitely liven up the space.

Style Trials Kitchen Chair Makeover Tools HGTV fabricHere’s the table before:

Style Trials Kitchen Table Before

First, unscrew the seats from the base. I ended up using a power drill to unscrew because the screwdriver wasn’t strong enough.

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 1

Next, place the seat upside down on top of the fabric, taking into account where you want the pattern to be centered on the seat. You can leave the existing fabric on the seat and work around it. Leave at least a 4″ border around the seat and cut out your square.

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 2

Pull the fabric tight around the edges, leaving the corners lose. I found it was easiest to start at the top (stapling multiple times across the length of the seat), then pull from the opposite side (bottom). The repeat the other sides until it looks like this….

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 4

Next is the trickest part. The corners. You want to make sure you pull these really tight to get a finished look. Start by pulling the fabric in closer from the edges towards the corner, and stapling in place. Then take the remaining fabric and fold like the picture below, and pull extremely tight. Then staple in place as well.

*Note, you may need to cut off some excess fabric to make this easier. If you have too much fabric, it will be bulky, harder to pull tight, and harder to staple.*

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 5

The finished back should look like this…

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 6

And the front like this!

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 7Next, screw the seats back on, and voilà! Checkout the before and afters!

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 8 before and after

Style Trials Recovering Chairs finished with hgtv fabric

What do you think of the finished results? Have you ever recovered anything using a staple gun?


Making a Happy Kitchen Window Plant with Miracle-Gro

With my love of painting and art, I grew up watching Bob Ross paint “happy little trees.” Now that I have a home, I realize that plants really do make a space feel more cheerful. I love the idea of bringing the outdoors in, which is very feng shui.

In my kitchen I still have the old window valance hung from the previous owner, but will be sewing my own soon. In the meantime, I wanted something pretty and green to add to the kitchen window sill. I stumbled upon these pretty ferns and succulents while shopping at IKEA, as well as this long, white jar. Everything was relatively cheap too. I think this total project cost me about $15 for the plants and vase, and they had a bunch of different plant pot options. If you don’t have an IKEA near you, these mini plants, succulents, and even cacti, are in season right now at home improvement stores like Lowe’s. This sat on my window looking quite messy, until I finally decided to actually plant the mini plants together.

DSCN1832

Luckily, I didn’t have to buy soil as I had a free sample of Miracle-Gro stored in my garage. To be exact, it was the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n GRO concentrated planting mix, courtesy of Scotts. I dumped it in my jar, then added water. In my pictures below, once I added water you can literally see the plant mix expanded up to 3X’s the amount I started with. So cool! Another benefit is it holds up to 50% more water than basic potting soil, meaning less watering/maintenance for me.

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DSCN1836

DSCN1837

After the soil expanded, I made holes where I wanted to put my plants. I removed the plants from the jars they came in, but retained the soil around it. Then I planted them in the holes, covered with a little more Miracle-Gro, and that was that! The plants are still thriving, and making every “dish washing day” happier.

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If you want to get really crafty, try painting your own flower pot like I did in this paint-pot tutorial.

I’d love to hear your comments. How do you make your house happier?

 


Yard Sale Coffee Table Makeover

Furnishing my house has been a task due to my indecisive nature, but I found I’m able pull the trigger much quicker if I think I’m getting a heck of a deal. Then in true Tim Gunn style, I simply “make it work.”

I was itching to try my first furniture DIY makeover project, but really had no clue what it would be. I scoured thrift stores and resale stores, but anything I liked was too pricey in my opinion for a first attempt. Then I went to a few yard sales, and hit the jackpot! I found a gem that’s the perfect size for my living room, but definitely needed tlc. I was able to negotiate her down to $10…not bad! If I hated it, I would toss it, and for $10 I figured it was worth a shot. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the full shot “before” pic,” but you’ll get a sense in the pics below.

Here’s the tools I started with:

Style Trials DIY Table Makeover Tools

  • Sanding sponge (medium grit) to get in the crevices and oddly shaped areas
  • Epoxy Putty
  • Painters tape
  • Electric sander (not pictured) with fine grit – oddly enough, I found this too at a yard sale a few weeks ago!
  • Flat latex paint (if you want it shinier and easy to wipe, get something with a sheen instead. Eggshell, Semi-gloss, or Gloss)
  • Paint sponges

BEFORE

Style Trials Coffee Table Makeover Before

You can see how beat up the wood was, especially in the molding on the legs. Also, there’s a metal piece at the foot of each leg (which I kinda liked), but I hated the matching fake drawer pull that was on the side of the table. I simply unscrewed the drawer pull with a screwdriver…easy peasy. Since I was keeping the metal legs, I taped them off so I wouldn’t accidentally paint or sand them. Then used the putty to fill in the drawer pull holes and “remold” the missing chunks on the legs.

Style Trials Coffee Table Makeover Putty

Style Trials Coffee Makeover wood epoxy

As the epoxy was drying, I took my electric sander and sanded down the finish on the entire piece, plus smoothed out any nicks. Once the epoxy was dry (about an hour dry time), I sanded down those areas too, and used the sanding sponge to get in the small molding crevices. I tried my best not to sand the entire thing too much, because I wanted to keep as much of the dark stain as possible. You can see here the natural wood color poking through, but I knew the darker finish would show up better during the distressing stage.

Style Trials Coffee Table Sanded

Next, you want to prep to paint by getting off all the dust caused from sanding. Either wipe with a clean damp sponge, or you could try my trick. Blow that sucker off with a leaf blower! Worked like a charm.

From there, I went straight into painting. I probably should’ve primed it first since I wasn’t using chalk paint (which doesn’t require primer), but I’m not gonna lie…I didn’t. I felt like this piece didn’t need it because it had a marble top, and the top is what would get the most wear and tear. Also, this wasn’t going in a highly trafficked area, but if your piece is then you should probably use a primer first.

Style Trials Prime and Paint Furniture

Clark + Kensington flat paint in color Harbor Lane

Let me tell  you, I was really excited about the paint because I got it for FREE! Every few months or so, Ace Hardware has a “Find Your Soul Paint” event where you literally get a free quart of paint of your choice…no purchase necessary! I post these types of deals on Style Trials Facebook and Twitter pages,  but you could also follow Ace Hardware  just to make sure you don’t miss it.

I went with Clark + Kensington flat paint in color Harbor Lane. It’s a really pretty pale blue. It dried super quick, so by the time I was done with the first coat I was able to immediately paint the second. The paint sponges helped to get into the little areas without being streaky.

Now, I could have left it just like that, but I wanted a distressed look. Sometimes I think distressing actually makes a piece look more expensive, plus painted distressed furniture is really on trend right now.

Style Trials Distressing Furniture

My living room is still a work in progress, so I quickly styled this for the after photo.

AFTER

Style Trials Living Room Coffee Table Makeover 2

Style Trials Living Room Coffee Table Makeover

I’m thinking not bad for $10! What do you think? Have you given a piece of furniture a makeover?


Kitchen Plan with Stainless Steel and Moen

This post brought to you by Moen, Incorporated. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve been trying to piece the new house together which has been a painfully slow work in progress. My problem is, I can easily make decisions for other people, but when it’s for myself I have to exhaust every option. *Sigh,* my poor husband. 🙂

With that, I’ve been researching and checking out a lot of cool products. I know I want to eventually redo my kitchen which is dated 10+ years, and am thinking new counter tops (probably granite), new appliances (hopefully sooner than later…the dishwasher is practically broken!), and a new sink with a really cool faucet. My kitchen is just very standard, but adding these elements would make it look a lot better, plus increase the value to my home – overall a win, win!

I’ll be getting stainless steel appliances which will hopefully update the look of my cabinets without having to redo those too, and want a matching faucet. My concern with stainless is usually the fingerprints, because that’s something I think will seriously annoy me. Does anyone have a good solution for that?

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Well, I actually found a pretty nice kitchen faucet by a great brand, Moen, which is fingerprint resistant! The Kiran Spot Resist one-handle pulldown kitchen faucet would definitely add a sleek, modern look to my kitchen, and I like the high arc design.

 photo 87599srsSET5_zps560c0ecb.jpg

The features are pretty cool too.

  • Fingerprint and water spot resistant…yes!
  • Pulldown spout has 2 spray functions (aerated stream of a more powerful cleaning rinse with pause feature
  • Relex system – makes a smooth operation, easy movement, and secure docking

Not too shabby! Plus, the Kiran Spot Resist one-handle pulldown kitchen faucet can easily be purchased at Lowe’s. Make sure to checkout Moen on FB and @Moen on Twitter for more info and options.

How would you upgrade your kitchen, and how do you combat fingerprints/water spots on stainless steel?

 

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Our New House!

So you may have heard by now that Hubby and I have some BIG NEWS. We bought our first house!

Now that we’ve been married for a year, our little 1 bedroom condo was more than outgrown. Milo, our long-haired chihuahua, would agree.

We had been scouring potential homes even months before our wedding, and landed on one that we both liked. I am the pickiest person ever, especially since one of my degrees is in interior design, yet I have a DIY personality! Here was our wishlist:

HOUSE WISHLIST

  1. 1 Story preferred (although I’d be fine if the perfect house were 2 stories depending on layout)
  2. High Ceilings
  3. Lots of natural light
  4. Open floorplan (especially kitchen area so we don’t feel disconnected)
  5. At least 2 full baths and 3 bedrooms minimum
  6. Move in ready so Hubby wouldn’t be overwhelmed – I’d be fine with gutting and tearing down walls, but maybe I just watch too much HGTV 🙂
  7. Not TOO move in ready for me. I still wanted small projects to make it our own, and didn’t want to pay for other people’s upgrades that may not be our style.
  8. Back yard for entertaining, but not too large because we wanted to maintain it ourselves
  9. Location – specific county for schools and resale value, plus we wanted to stay close to family
  10. Gated neighborhood with a good HOA (effective but not crazy expensive). We wanted a sense of community, a place to feel safe, and in a neighborhood where the neighbors don’t have a billion yard ornaments in front of their crazy bright purple house.
  11. A great bargain – I preferred it to be on the lower end of our budget range, because I thought it would be easier to transition from our condo in terms of bills. I also love a great deal, and in this housing market knew they were out there. We also didn’t want to be “house poor,” because we love going out and doing fun things, vacationing, and of course I love my shopping!
  12. Optional but preferred – a fireplace (I LOVE fireplaces), and perhaps a pool. We were actually kinda torn about a pool because it would be nice living in FL, but it’s also an added expense and responsibility we never had.
  13. Laundry room must be inside

The only problem with the house we found was that it was a short sale. That meant we were waiting for who-knew-how long, and wouldn’t be guaranteed to get it. We took a gamble, and after 7+ months, closed!

Isn’t she a beaut?

Front view of our new home! I love the little bay window and cool angles that make it unique.

Side view. We have a corner lot and cute palm trees. 🙂

Side/Back view. There’s a cute little screened porch that will be perfect for entertaining!

While it doesn’t have everything on the wishlist, it definitely covers most. You have to be realistic that no house will have everything on your list unless you’re building it from scratch, so it’s a matter of setting priorities. We’re really happy, and think this will be a great starter home where we plan to eventually have some kiddos. 🙂

I have to say a BIG thanks to my mom who was our realtor and made it happen. She’s so cute, for my birthday a few weeks later she got me a Pandora bracelet with a house charm to commemorate the event. Thanks Mom!

Hubby and I are really excited and still settling in. I have a long list of fun DIY projects, along with decorating and buying new furniture that I’ll be blogging about. After all, our house will have to have style!

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