Recently, Douglas Elliman, a global real estate firm, contacted me to participate in their Pantone Color of the Year challenge. I will not be compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. To see Florida property listings by Douglas Elliman and for more tropical inspiration, click here.
Spring is right around the corner, and St. Patrick’s day is even closer. So, now is a good time to share some ideas on how to work green into a room. Specifically, Greenery, Pantone Color of the Year for 2017.
According to Pantone’s website, “Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate” (Pantone). It “symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another, and a larger purpose”.
Originally I thought that this wouldn’t be a color that I would paint on a wall but when I got thinking, I realized it would look great in a bathroom. Greenery seems to be a rejuvinating color especially in combination with neutrals.
I think the best tip I have for this color, and something I would do in my own home, is to style the room with a half wall. For example – shiplap, board and batten, or beadboard depending on your personal style.
This way there is texture added to the room, but it will tone down the vibrant green on the wall.
I created a mood board with my ideas on how to use this color in a bathroom.
One thing that I really like about the way this room is put together is the easily interchangeable color scheme. The green tropical feel is mostly emphasized by all the green accessories and it wouldn’t be too much work or money to change the paint color if you decided it wasn’t for you.
Blue is one of my favorite colors and it seems that I always end up thinking about doing a beachy look for a bathroom and I think that comes from the fact that there are a lot of blue accessories for bathrooms. To see what I mean, just look at my bathroom.
I think this is a fun and different way to have a tropical bathroom without making everything blue. Although I still think it would look great to add in some blue accents.
How would you use Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year?
This is honestly one of those projects that took a turn because I got lazy. My roommate broke my full-size mirror a long time ago and I tried to come up with a way to reuse the broken glass. I decided on making a mosaic and searched a while for just the right frame. Then I found this:
It was perfect for my original project because it was a sturdy frame with a solid backing to lay glass on. The first thing I did was sand it down a little and give it a coat of black spray paint.
I started laying the glass pieces (without glue), but this is as far as I got before giving up (or at least I told myself I would finish it later).
It looked pretty cool, but it got harder to arrange the glass pieces without much space in between. I also decided when I was finished it was going to be really heavy.
Instead I had Chris dump all the glass for me and I pulled out some leftover cork and fabric. I decided to make a corkboard for the office I keep dreaming about.
To begin I laid out the cork and measured the dimensions of the inside of the frame. I measured it out on the cork and drew the lines where I needed to cut.
After cutting I put the cork in the frame to check it was right before cutting the fabric.
To cut the fabric I placed the cork on top and cut it leaving a little bit extra to fold over the edges of the cork.
My fabric was a little wrinkly, and we have very limited resources to fix that. Iron? Nope. Dryer? Nope. DIY de-wrinkle spray made with fabric softener? Definitely nope. Instead, I tried the next closest thing to the dryer trick. Which was hanging my cut piece of fabric on the towel bar in the bathroom while I showered. Took the wrinkles right out! 🙂
To glue it together I used mod podge on the face of the cork and used my hot glue gun to glue the edges of the fabric to the back of the cork.
Then, to glue the cork to the frame I put hot glue all along the edges and an X through the middle. I had to do it quickly so the glue wouldn’t cool.
Quickly after I placed the corkboard, and tucked the edges into the frame.
And that was it! I plan on using it to “pin” ideas for inspiration and home makeover ideas. Like a little project board.
Last Friday I had quite an adventurous day, and I found several cool things throughout. Some I kept, some I didn’t.
My best friend was home from college, and we went to my mom’s house to get my (horse) show clothes for her to borrow. Unfortunately, the tenant that is currently renting my mom’s house said they “may have ended up at goodwill after the garage sale”. That’s hundreds of dollars of clothes down the drain, my friends. And let me tell you… my mom was NOT happy when she found out. Yikes.
On the bright side, I was able to grab a few things I decided I wanted to take home. Some of the things I grabbed included riding boots, sewing machine, coat rack with cubbies, my tennis racket, and a sweet plaid wool blanket that belonged to my mom’s dad.
My mom doesn’t live at the house currently, but we both have plenty of stuff stored away in the garage. I wanted to get the rest of my stuff especially after what happened, but Chris and I just don’t have the space to store anything else. I figure that once we buy a house if it has a garage then I will get the rest of my stuff and possibly some/all of mom’s stuff that’s there. (honestly I don’t think she would notice if someone stole everything of hers out of there). Her address is… just kidding 😉
Speaking of a new house… I found this awesome file folder at the antique store in my hometown. We figured while we were in town we had to stop!
It’s so adorable and I didn’t think it was too pricey. It instantly made me think of that Fixer Upper style. Unfortunately, I currently don’t have an office at home so I don’t have a use for it yet. Now that I think about it, I totally should have just bought it and taken it to work!
Last but not least I scavenged up a bunch of really cool old bottles. While we were at the antique store I saw a bunch of old glass medicine bottles and mentioned how my mom used to find those in her back yard all the time. My friend says they have a spot on the side of their road where people used to dump stuff and there are a TON of bottles. I like to call it the bottle graveyard.
Here are most of them after I packed them into the car. There are plenty more that were intact and easy to find, but I had to put them back because I don’t even know what I’m going to do with all of these!
Here they are lined up on the back steps after the initial rinse. I didn’t get to the bottles with lids because I want to put gloves on so I don’t cut myself.
Filled them up with a dab of soap and a bunch of water
I didn’t clean them all out yet. I need to get better scrub brushes that will fit into the bottles instead of a dishcloth.
These bottles are so unique, but I still can’t decide what I want to do with all of them!
Wow, I can’t believe it has been over two weeks since I posted last! Whoops. But I’ll make it up to you this week by showing you my finished china cabinet! A few months ago (4 months to be exact) I shared my ideas for updating the cabinet and asked your opinions on what I should choose. I ended up choosing to stain the piece in General Finishes Java Gel Stain. Many of the pieces I saw were extremely dark, but I did see one that was lighter and I absolutely loved it. I figured I would only do one coat and that would be light enough and let the red tone of the wood show through.
To do this project I purchased:
GF Java Gel Stain (1 qt): $26.67
GF Gel Topcoat in Satin (1 qt): $26.67
Shop Towels: 3 rolls for $5.98
Mineral Spirits: $4
Foam Brush: $2?
I already had on hand:
Plastic drop cloth
Rub N Buff Antique Gold
One foam brush
Ridgid random orbital sander
80 and 220 grit sandpaper
Here is what I started with:
If you want to see more in depth pictures, there are some in the post I linked to above.
I cleaned the drawer pulls by soaking them in baking soda and vinegar then scrubbing with an SOS pad.
Next, I sanded the crap out of the whole thing (minus inside the cabinets and the faux wood backing). I used my Ridgid random orbital sander with an 80 grit sanding pad. I wanted to sand down to the bare wood in order to keep the piece from getting too dark. Another reason was due to scratches on the cabinet doors and shelves, along with some nasty water rings on the top. I didn’t want to have to fill the scratches in with wood filler.
After I sanded everything with 80 grit I hand sanded with 220 grit to smooth it back out. General Finishes has great videos that I would recommend watching if you are going to use their products. I watched this video on how to apply Gel Stain and topcoat. It also explained not to go any farther than a certain grit or the pores of the wood will be closed and won’t accept the color as well.
After sanding I wiped the entire piece down with Mineral Spirits to clean the dust off and prep the wood. For water based stains use a mixture of water and denatured alcohol.
You can see in the pictures above how the mineral spirits bring out the red color in the wood. It dries pretty fast so it was hard to get a good picture.
General Finishes also recommends wiping down the surface with mineral spirits right before applying the stain. This helps the stain glide across the wood since it is so thick.
I then used a foam brush to dapple the stain onto the cabinet. Then I used a rag to spread the finish out evenly and wipe any excess off. Work in small sections so the product doesn’t dry out before you get a chance to wipe off the excess.
Here are some pictures once I got the stain on:
I let the stain dry for a full day before applying the gel top coat. To apply the topcoat I got a new foam brush and brushed on the product in a very thin layer. I went quickly at first to get it on the surface then went back slowly to make sure the lines were even.
You can see in the pictures above how much richer the color is, and how the wood grain stands out after applying the topcoat. (The left picture is without topcoat).
General Finishes recommends putting more than one coat of topcoat on and sanding with a fine grit in between coats. This is because the first coat of topcoat is likely to lift the stain and create a grainy look. I didn’t have this problem so I just stuck with one coat. I also didn’t want to have to do any more sanding.
As I mentioned before, I cleaned the drawer pulls and did not use Rub n Buff on them. However, I couldn’t get the door hinges as clean as I wanted so I decided to use Rub N Buff on them.
This china cabinet also whispered to me how much it would love having little gold feet. Sooo I used some Rub N Buff on the black part on the legs.
Great thinking, cabinet! I love your little gold feet.
Here are the after pictures!
I love how much depth this stain has to it. It’s so rich looking, and it was very simple to use. I was shocked by the price of the stain when I bought it, but I hardly made a dent in the can. A little bit goes a long way, which I noticed even with the water based stain I’ve used on two other projects. And for an oil based stain, it didn’t have too much smell to it. I did have the windows open, though.
I was not compensated by General Finishes in any way for writing this post, and all of the opinions are my own. However, they did follow me on Instagram. score!
So what do you think? Did I make a good color choice? Would you say this is a proper restoration?
Eventually I think I would like to sell this baby, but for now I’m just going to enjoy the product of my hard work.
As I mentioned recently, I’m updating a chair for my mom, and the most difficult part was I could not save the old fabric as a template. This was challenging, but I will show you in this post how I reupholstered my chair without using a pre-existing template.
When I first got the chair I cleaned it and used some Restor-A-Finish on it. You can check out the first stages of that here.
The picture above is what the chair looked like in the very beginning before I cleaned it.
The next step in the process was to completely gut it and take all the old fabric off. There were a million and one nails on this thing and some of them were underneath a layer of fabric. This made it impossible to pull the fabric off without ripping it.
Another reason I couldn’t use the old material as a template is because it wouldn’t lie flat in order to cut the new fabric in the same way.
I also wanted to upholster the chair differently to leave more of the wood exposed. The old upholstery didn’t do the beautiful chair justice.
So, the point is it IS possible to reupholster a chair with no previous template to go off of. No matter what your reason is, I just happen to have a few. A lot of blog posts I read on reupholstering made it seem like “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE SAVE THE OLD FABRIC OR YOU WILL DIE”. Which now having done this chair, that’s a hunk of bologna. You might cry, but you won’t die.
Anyway, so after I wrestled with this thing for a while the chair was down to this stage:
Underneath the upholstery there was a wool and straw filler. Below that it had burlap on the seat, backrest, and underneath (pictured above). I took this off because I would be adding a thick cushion, and the straw was all over it and messy.
Underneath the burlap was burlap straps. I left these on because they are the support of the seat which go over the springs on the inside. At this stage, I vacuumed the whole chair really well to get any dirt and straw that was leftover.
One strap wasn’t nailed down on one side so I stapled that back down.
The front and back of the chair wasn’t stained where the old fabric was, and the sides of the chair were sort of stained.
To make the color all look even I got a stain to match closely with the existing color and re-stained the whole chair. I went to my local store that sells General Finishes products, and apparently I’m lucky because there aren’t many retailers around here even in bigger towns. I told the lady about my project, and she helped me pick a matching finish that would work well. In the end, I chose Brown Mahogany in the water based stain.
Here is a picture where you can see the contrast with the stained areas.
To prep the chair for stain I sanded the whole thing down with 180 grit first followed by 220.
After the first layer of stain you can tell that the unstained parts are starting to more closely match the rest of the chair.
When I went back over the chair the second and third times I only went over the areas that were lighter in order to try to get a more uniform look.
After staining, I was ready to cut my cushions. To do this I measured the width of the top part of the seat, and the bottom part of the seat because they weren’t the same length. I then cut on an angle from the top to bottom on both sides making a trapezoid.
For the back cushion, I first measured the highest part at the top of the backrest and the lowest part at the bottom. This gave me a rectangle. Then I held the cushion against the chair like so:
After I held the cushion up you can see where I made my marks with a sharpie. Then I took my box cutter and made the rounded top.
The next step after making my cushions is adding the fabric. I chose the gray patterned fabric for the seat and back.The burlap is for underneath and behind the chair.
First I decided to upholster under the chair. To do this I had to cut out little squares where the fabric had to go around the legs. This reminded me of my high school math days and terrified me. You know those math problems where you have to find the area of a square with pieces cut out? That’s what this felt like at first.
Once I stopped being caught up on perfection and stepped back to think I figured it out as I went. Just hold the fabric up to the edge of the leg and make a mark where it needs to be cut. Or measure how long it needs to be.
Instead of cutting the whole piece I needed, I just measured and stapled as I went along and this made it pretty easy. I left enough excess to tuck the edge under so it was clean cut. My tip to you is to always air on the side of caution even if you measure the cuts. Cut less first and go back later rather than cutting too much to begin with.
I used this same technique to upholster the seat and back, with some adjustment to how I did the back.
Pictured above is the underneath of the chair reupholstered.
For the back of the chair, the first thing I did was cut out a chunk of burlap and stapled it to the back. To staple the fabric around the top of the chair I cut a piece that was approximately the right size leaving a little extra. This is the only time I used the old upholstery as a “template”.
Then I used a combination of tucking and stapling in the best way possible to get a tight, clean look.
The same thing with the seat in the back you can see a few weird folds, but that’s because there was no other way to get as precise of a look.
Here is the side view where you can see the combination of stapling and tucking.
The finished view of the front! This is my favorite view.
And I was even able to nail the original tag back on 🙂 I tried so darn hard to save that.
This thing was basically a giant pain in my butt almost the entire time I was working on it, but I am really happy to have restored a classic piece of furniture. I think I will take on some more upholstery projects in the future, but only if they are more simple to upholster.
Here is my materials list and cost breakdown:
Chair – Free!
General Finishes Water Based Stain in Brown Mahogany – $11.31
1 yd burlap fabric – $4
3 yds gray patterned fabric – $12/yd = $36
two 2 in dense cushions – $15/ea = $30
5/16″ Staples – $4.23
This project in total would cost about $85, but I got some serious deals at JoAnn’s when I bought my fabric and cushions so it cost me a little over $60.
I delivered it to my mom when Chris and I went over to her boyfriend’s house for Christmas. She was so excited, and loves how it looks! I told her if she ever wants to get rid of the chair, it has to come back to me.
The before and after still amaze me!
Would you attempt an upholstery project without a template?
I completed my trunk table long before my blogging days, but I thought I’d share it with you since I receive a lot of compliments on it. This wasn’t a project I planned out and needed to go find the supplies for. I think the best projects aren’t planned because you find a piece of inspiration and just run with it. I found my trunk at Salvation Army piled in with some other luggage. It was $10 and I instantly knew it would be a killer table… with a lot of love that is (I typically buy things of this nature if you couldn’t already tell).
A photo I shared on Instagram that makes this trashy trunk look way more glam than it actually was.
The first photo was after I cleaned this beast and the second photo was after I slapped on a coat of chalkboard paint I had on hand. I thought about writing on it with chalk, but I decided that didn’t really go with my style. I also thought about painting the brown metal parts, but I didn’t have a good color for it and I thought it made the trunk look just shabby enough with the fresh paint. Still, I want to go back and clean it up a little bit more because there are some rusty spots that don’t look so hot.
The inside of the trunk had ugly contact paper and smelled mustier than a century old mummy. I scraped as much of the paper out as I could and vacuumed the rest. To get the smell out I put cat litter in the box. I heard that will trap all the smells and when you dump it out the smell will be gone. It worked I think but then it just smelled like dusty cat litter.
The new inside of the trunk is shelf liner but I totally bought the wrong kind. I bought the squishy stuff not the plain paper kind. I was in a rush and I really liked the design on it, but it cost like $10 and I ended up having to buy two rolls of it. Seriously a dumb mistake. I used mod podge to stick the shelf liner in so then my trunk smelled like glue instead of cat litter. I think that’s a good thing? Eventually I sprayed Febreze in it and it took the smell away. 🙂
An up close of the front hardware. This is one of my favorite parts about the piece.
I added this on so the lid would stay open while grabbing out blankets.
I measured how tall I wanted the legs to be based on the height of the couch. Then I stained them using the vinegar and steel wool technique except I used the kind with soap in it and tried to rinse out the soap. I don’t recommend that. You can buy plain steel wool at the hardware store.
So what do you think? Were my expensive mistakes still worth it?
Lately I’ve been stressed out about finishing projects around the house before I move back to school in the fall. During time off of school I live at home with my boyfriend, Chris, and during the school year I live on campus with friends. Last year was my first year so I lived in a dorm with two other girls. This year I will be living in an apartment with those two girls plus 3 other roommates. I come home quite often since I don’t live far from the college, but this year I want to make a point to relax on the weekends instead of worrying about homework or trying to do major home improvement projects.
Today I did a simple craft to take my mind off the things I feel like I “have” to do. For this craft you will need:
You can use old bottles for this craft such as snapple bottles, starbucks iced coffee bottles, or you can buy some from a craft store. I had a few snapple bottles on hand so I decided to use those. (I’m saving my starbucks bottles for a coffee candle craft 😉 )
If you are reusing bottles you will need to peel the label off and get off any extra gunk. I used a mixture of mostly baking soda and a little bit of vegetable oil and scrubbed the bottles with paper towel.
This is what they looked like after de-gunking:
Then I mixed up a combination of mod podge and food coloring. I used 6 drops of blue and 4 drops of green. For this project I used hard coat mod podge. This is what my mod podge looked like after adding in the food coloring:
I applied the mixture to my bottles with a brush and tried to keep brush marks to a minimum.
On the left is the bottle mostly dry, the middle is just after applying mod podge. I was trying to follow a tutorial I found on Pinterest to make the bottles look like sea glass, but I didn’t have matte mod podge and used the hard coat instead. They turned out nice in the end, though. I don’t quite have a spot for them but I think maybe they can travel to school with me. Maybe I’ll make a pallet shelf for the bathroom and put them up there. The main thing is that this was a nice de-stressing craft 🙂
What kinds of things do you do to de-stress? Would you like to hear about my DIY adventures in my college apartment too? Drop by the comments and let me know what you think!
So besides being a crazy youngster that enjoys doing daring things to her rental home without asking her landlord permission, I also enjoy buying old lousy furniture and dumping money and countless hours into it. BUT the final product tends to be somewhat decent so I usually am happy. I bought an old trunk from salvation army for $10 once and turned it into a table. It cost me 3X as much to fix it up but I get a lot of compliments on it so it’s okay.
I’m currently working on an old chair my mom’s boyfriend had lying around his garage, so they kindly donated it to me. I cannot for the life of me pinpoint when it was made and it’s driving me bonkers. I wanted to paint it white, distress it, and reupholster it but I have a soft heart for antiques and decided to restore it. I don’t have a place for it in my house so I’m fixing it up and giving it back to my mom for her birthday.
This is before I cleaned it. The wood is really worn and dirty, and the leather seats are really damaged. Poor thing needs some TLC 🙁 So far I think it’s made of dark walnut?? and that it’s really old?? maybe?
I figured this tag on the back would make it a piece of cake to figure out how old it was, what it’s made of, and how much it’s worth.
I searched for hours, dayssss and I can’t find a chair company/manufacturer, leather company, or anything based out of Detroit. Seriously, if you know anything about this chair tell me. Oh, it’s kind of hard to read but the right side says Detroit, Michigan 😉
The first thing I did with this chair is give it a good cleaning with some hot water, soap, and borax. The borax probably wasn’t necessary but I just love that stuff.
He looks a lot better after a nice bath but he’s far from a shiny diamond of a chair. Sorry chair, you’re still a lump of coal. Next I used Howard Restor-A-Finish in Dark Walnut and #0000 Steel Wool to restore the color of the wood and hydrate it. The top of the arms are really faded. There were also several scratches on the wood and the Restor-A-Finish is supposed to hide them really well.
When using the Restor-A-Finish make sure to put a drop cloth or newspaper underneath your project or apply it outside. It’s very oily and I’m sure it would make a mess if it spills. Let me tell you this stuff makes a BIG difference. You almost can’t tell that the wood was so neglected.
I just love how rich the wood looks after using Restor-A-Finish. It really brings out the carved details in the chair as well. This product is really easy to use and a little goes a long way. I almost wish it came in smaller containers because I don’t really know what else I’ll use it on. Maybe that’s an excuse to buy more dumpy furniture 😛
Stay tuned for the next stage in this chair’s makeover. I’m scared to pull all that leather off!