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.


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.




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.


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?


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:


  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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