Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why I Otto-man!

I have finally gotten around to upholstering our ottoman in our living room.  Remember in this post back in December when I was decorating our Christmas tree and you had a glimpse at the partially re-upholstered ottoman.  Well its D-O-N-E!  Crossed off the list!

Let's have a look at it before it got a partial makeover.  Notice that the main color is black, and is severely faded from our large expanse of windows in the room.  It desperately needed a face lift. 


Here it is in all it's half finished glory. 


So off came the top so I could finish the bottom half.  This is made out of 3/4 in. MDF that I had left over from an Architecture studio project back in the college days and I opted to recycle the wood and make an ottoman after the class.  It is essentially a big square box with some industrial casters on the bottom so that moving it is easy.  It opens up for storage on the inside also. 


I took off the old black fabric with a flat head screwdriver and some pliers since it was just stapled into the wood.




I was then left with the red upholstery that was underneath.  The entire ottoman was upholstered in the red fabric at one time and I decided to leave it on since it is a super duty Crypton fabric.  Crypton is a brand name for fabric that is resistant to spills and staining and all sorts of yuck. 


I decided to leave it on once again as the foundation and upholster right on top of it with the new fabric.  Oh and FYI, the fabric I'm using came from Fabric.com and is fade resistant and can be used outdoors, so hopefully that translates to basset hound and feline proof. 

A few staples later, this is what we have now!


It is so nice now and is not suffering with an identity crisis any longer.  Notice those lovely black raggedy looking pillows on the sofa, ignore them, they are getting covers made soon!


The living room is coming together once again. 


It is nice to have one thing off the list, now to focus on the other hundred things on it. 
Any of you cross anything off your list lately?  Any furniture suffering from an identity crisis?  We would love to hear!

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Can Handle This

Devin and I both love the Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Not only can you find awesome bargains but in purchasing said bargains you can support a great cause.  During a recent trip, we stumbled upon these beauties. 


Yup those are new handles for our entire house.  Our house is currently sporting the latest in builder special fashion, brass door knobs.  Needless to say, we want to change that.  We have been checking out new hardware occasionally at the home improvement stores and decided we would buy new hardware for our interior doors slowly since the price was pretty steep.  We're talking a price to the tune of $20+ depending on brand per door.  So with 13 doors in our house that's $260 smackers.  So imagine our excitement, or at least my excitement, when I saw these babies waiting for me to take them home for $2 a pop.  Sweet!  At that price we could buy enough for all our doors and not have to phase them in slowly.  Extra special bonus is that these lever handles actually look like they are commercial grade, which means they could have retailed at upwards of $50 each. 


We are one step closer to being brass knob free in our home and we couldn't be more excited.  It is the little details that make a home.  

For the first installation, I started with the downstairs bathroom.  I simply removed the two screws holding the front and back of the old brass knob together and removed the handles.  Then removed the two screws holding the latch in place and the core slides right out. 


Our new handles also came with new strike plates, so I removed the old one.


Then I basically reversed all the steps to install the new lever and strike plate. 





Isn't she pretty!  I was concerned that it might look too commercial, but actually we both really like the clean simple lever rather than one too curvy.  It certainly suits our design aesthetic. 

One more time here is the before and after. 



Can you dig it?  We totally do!  One down, 12 to go!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Getting a Leg Up

Along with 500 other projects I have in my head to do at my house, I decided to make a console table for behind our sofa.  Some would also call this a sofa table.  I have been thinking about adding this piece of furniture to our living room, due to the size of our sectional sofa it is difficult to set a drink or a magazine down when you are in the middle of the sofa. 


Enter the Lack shelf from IKEA purchased eons ago.  We had installed casters to the bottom of it and had been using it as a bench.  Well using it is not quite the right term, it was a place holder really.  We had it, so we put it in the room.  This is why I had the GREAT idea to turn that bad boy into our console table on the cheap.  It is the perfect length to occupy the space behind the sofa.


The Plan:  purchase a Lack table from IKEA for $9.99 and install the legs from the table on to the Lack shelf we own. 

This plan was genius because #1, they were both Lack products and had the same black-brown finish so the console table would look like it was meant to be, and #2, I would have a new console table for $9.99.

Off came the casters that we had installed for the bench.  No worries, I'm sure I will find a good use for them some day. 



This left me with 4 lovely holes where the casters were screwed, but you would never see them unless you were one of our kitties, Roxie, or just like laying on the floor under the table. 


I simply unscrewed the screw in the shelf...  



and replaced it with the double sided screws that came with the table to secure the legs to the shelf. 



I encountered one problem when doing this.  The hole in the shelf was too big for the screw provided.  So to solve this problem, I simply added a few toothpicks to the hole, then screwed the screws in.  Presto!  Works every time.



It is pretty great how the finish matches perfectly and the width of the leg is the same as the side of the shelf.  I will call this IKEA hack done and done!

Now I am dreaming of a lamp to add and maybe a few other storage pieces.  For now a couple of the lanterns from our wedding are living there.  


1 project down, 499 to go.  Have you guys been doing any cheap fixes around your place lately?  I would love to hear. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Up and Running

WARNING: This post is not about exercising!  It is much better, our Before and After page is up and running.  Yippie!  It is a quick place to check out some of our before and after projects quickly on one page. 

Take a look by clicking here or clicking the tab above. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

1 Down 3 to Go

I am a fan of Craigslist.  I think it is a great way to find treasures that someone no longer wants/needs and make them yours.  It is a great way to recycle and save the planet and most of the time save your dollars.  Here is an example: 

I found an add in Craigslist for 3 pieces of Thomasville solid wood furniture for $40!  Holla!  I met with the man with the goods and said sold!  Actually it was 3 pieces of furniture and a mirror that all went together.  SCORE!  I have been thinking about adding a mirror to our downstairs guest bathroom to give it more personality than the standard "builder special" mirror.  I actually had a plan to go take a look at another mirror the day I bought this stuff, then opted out of the other mirror when I scored a mirror with the other 3 pieces. 

Once again the XBox prevails.  It is the magic car that can fit a multitude of items.  Reminiscent of a car full of clowns. 


Here are the 4 items in all their worn out 70's glory.  Granted they are solid wood and super sturdy.  The only issues are cosmetic and a few screws here and there.  Totally fixable and worthy of a new life.  And I will provide them the life they deserve.  FYI...my husband thinks I'm crazy.  I say if in an awesome sort of way then YES I AM!

This post is going to focus on the bottom right hand corner "project".  The mirror.  As I said, I had big plans for it to replace the downstairs guest bathroom mirror. 



I tested the waters before I got to painting. 


It is pretty much the same size of the existing mirror but with a cute bamboo style frame.  So off to the garage it went for it's makeover.  I just taped off the mirror with blue painters tape and whatever paper I had laying around.


I filled any crack, scrape, or hole and then sanded the whole thing down to basically just rough up the surface to receive some white spray paint.  I wasn't too concerned about the paint being too super duty indestructible since this was going to hang on the wall.  The other pieces will undoubtedly get more work to provide a more indestructible finish. 


I used a basic can of white spray paint, I think it was Valspar High Gloss White, and I went to town.  I spray light coats until I have the desired finish.  It took about 4 coats to get it right. 


Once painted it had a entirely new look.  I think it is pretty cute in the bathroom.  Now I'm ready to re-do that room.  It is one of the only rooms we didn't paint when we moved in.  I think it might be time for a quick face lift in there.  I'm not digging the taupe brown anymore.  I am thinking something lighter and fresher.  Anyway, the mirror added a little more character to the bathroom. 




Yeah, it needs a bit more work.  The light fixture has got to be replaced etc.  But it's the little things that get you there.  We are one step in the right direction. 
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