3.29.2013

Chair Update

Remember our vanity chair that we made over a whiiiiile back?

It started out looking like this:

 
 
and we made it over to look like this:
 

 
 
Well, we loved how that chair turned out, but once we got our headboard fabric something had to change. After searching for months for our headboard fabric, we figured it was probably easier to change the chair. So we did.
 
First we had it sprayed a different colour. We chose "Polar Jade" by Benjamin Moore:
 
 
 



The first time around I painted the chair by hand and was really happy with the paint and the results. This time, we decided to get it professionally sprayed. We figured since we were getting the nightstands done, that we might as well do the chair at the same time to save us money on buying a can of paint and the time. We didn't need to prime the chair since it had already been painted. The painter just gave it a light sanding and then it was sprayed. This colour worked perfect with our drapes, new headboard fabric and nightstands (which we had had sprayed in the same colour...post on that coming soon).
 
After spraying the chair, we reupholstered it with what we had leftover from our headboard fabric, "Fleur, Summer" from Tonic Living:
 
 
and soon we ended up with a chair that matched everything perfectly:
 
 
 
 

 
 


 
The chair actually looks a lot brighter in the pictures than it actually is. The colour is actually closer to the colour of the drapes which works perfectly.
 
So there you go. A quick and easy makeover that didn't break the bank.
 
Costs:
 
Chair- already owned (so FREE! kinda?!)
Paint and spraying- $60.00 Polar Jade by Benjamin Moore
Fabric- leftover from our headboard fabric (Fleur Summer from Tonic Living) (also free since we already had it)
 
Total cost: $60.00.
Woot!
 
Im thinking of adding some"bling" nailhead trim around the seat base where the fabric meets the chair...what do you think?!
 
Melissa and Ian
 

3.27.2013

Staircase Overhaul...Part 3

After we had the railings and posts painted, the next step of the process was to get the treads put on. We had hired a stair builder to do this for us- they came and measured each of the current stairs in order to build the treads to size and then gave us a sample of the stain to make sure it matched our current hardwood floors.

We were pretty happy with the sample stain, but the hardest part of this decision was which wood to choose. Do we go with maple or oak? We actually have dark bamboo hardwood in many of the rooms in our house (those that aren't tiled) and wanted to make sure the stair treads matched up with that. We originally thought maple, as the look of maple wood (very little grain) is more comparable to the bamboo, however the railing for our stairs is oak. So oak it is! We figured we should keep consistency within the stairs and keeping it all oak was the best way to do this.

So we crossed our fingers, met the guys on the day they arrived with the treads, went to work and prayed that we wouldn't come home to the biggest mistake we'd ever made.

We left our stairs in the morning looking like this:

 
and came home to this:
 
 
Phew! The treads looked fabulous. The stain on the oak is so dark, that its hard to see a lot of the grain (which works well with the bamboo) and the stain colour is pretty much a perfect match. HUGE sigh of relief!
 
However, we were met with a few new challenges. Notice the difference in the end posts on the railings?
 
 
We had talked about cutting off the end of the bottom stair so that it didn't round out, and wanted the railing made into a straight line to the bottom. In doing that, the stair builders had to cut the railing fairly short to deal with the curve at the end, and this resulted in the end post being mounted higher up than we had hoped. Whomp whomp.
 
You may have also noticed the gap of tile that now exists beside the bottom stair. We did think of this before and have extra tile lying around, so we'll be able to fill that hole up. One day we would LOVE to replace these floors (not really our style), but thats a huge (and expensive!) undertaking since these floors carry through our entire main floor into the kitchen. One day...one day.

We also found that the bottom post itself was no longer substantial to hold the weight of the stairs (not literally of course), but it no longer looked large enough. Strike 2.

So the best way to resolve this? Build up the bottom post. This also poses the problem, that we need to build up the 2 posts at the top of the staircase as well....hmmmm...so we're in the process of working on this.

Issue #2- railing colour does NOT match with the treads. Sigh. Our last post filled you in on how much time we spent trying to find the darkest brown paint we could...and apparently its not dark enough! So now, we need to get the railings all repainted...ONCE we find a darker brown or colour match something else that we have that is a very dark SOLID brown colour.

So there you have it. I truly feel that these stairs will look great once we get everything right...its just taking longer than we anticipated. Go figure.

We've still come a long way so far...


I also wanted to mention that the walls will all be painted (the current colours are the choices of the previous homeowners) and the hallway light fixtures replaced (not exactly our style), so a lot more work to do!

The staircase saga continues...

Melissa and Ian


3.25.2013

What we were up to...

Just a sneak peek at what we were up to this weekend...we had some fun with wallpaper and finally finished up our second closet!



 
 
More to come on this project soon :)
 
Melissa and Ian

3.21.2013

DIY Headboard

Hi Everyone,

So we've been posting about our staircase overhaul lately, and wanted to take a bit of a break from that to tell you about one of the many other projects we've been working on.

In the midst of the dust, paint and everything else going on around here, we had a headboard sitting around for months that we had been meaning to upholster. Honestly I think anyone who has been to our house in the last year and come upstairs, has seen that wooden headboard sitting in one of our spare rooms just waiting to be madeover.

The main reason why it took us so long, was because we were waiting for just the right fabric to come along. Designer rule #1, always pick your fabrics first and design your room around them. Well, we may have gone against that rule with this room. We found some chairs that we loved, used the fabric on those chairs to pick our paint colours and everything else for the room, however this made it difficult when we needed to pick a headboard fabric. We wanted this fabric to tie everything together- the paint colours, drapes, furniture, floors, etc. Yes, we know that was expecting a lot, but guess what?! We found it! One day we were checking out the Tonic Living site for some fabric for another project and came across this fabric: "Fleur, Summer":

 
This fabric perfectly combined the teals, whites, greys and brown in our floors together.
 
So we started with a plain wood headboard, which I thought I had taken a picture of to start, but apparently did not (oops!). We bought the headboard off Kijiji thinking we would paint it if the upholstering didn't work out, since we liked the shape of it.
 
Once we found the fabric, it was actually a lot easier to do that we thought.
 
Here is a list of supplies that you'll need:
 
- Old headboard OR piece of plywood cut to the shape and size you want
- Fabric (we bought 3 yards just in case, but only really used 2 and a bit)
- 2 inch thick foam (enough to cover your headboard plus a bit of extra)
- Batting (enough to cover your headboard)
- Hammer
- Spray glue
- Staple gun
- Marker or pen
- Utility knife and scissors
- Dust mask
- Iron
- Optional: Nailhead trim- we got ours from Lee Valley Tools here
- Mounting hardware
 
The first step you want to take, is to iron your fabric and set it aside. You want to make sure its wrinkle free when you place it on the headboard for attaching.
 
I would then suggest placing your foam on the floor and tracing out the shape of your headboard onto it. Then cut out your foam shape and trace the shape again, but move in 2 inches from the edge all the way around. So the shape you end up with, will give you a boarder of 2 inches all the way. This is really only necessary if you plan on adding the nailhead detail. If you're not adding that, then skip the second part of this step.
 
You then want to spray the foam with the glue (use a mask) and attach the foam to your headboard.
 
Place your batting on the floor and set the headboard on top (face down). You now want to stretch the batting all the way around and staple it tight. Make sure you pull it around to the back and staple into the back of the headboard all the way around. Cut any excess batting from the back of the headboard.
 
Next step is to carefully set your fabric on the floor face down (make sure its clean first!) and then set your headboard on top, again face down. Staple your fabric onto the headboard again pulling it tight as you go all the way around. Cut away any of the excess fabric and use a glue gun to glue any other excess fabric to the back of the headboard.
 
Lastly you will want to attach your nailhead trim (if doing so). Simply place the trim on the headboard and use the edge of your foam as your guide (you will feel it through the fabric and there will be a noticeable space where you edge your trim up against). The way it works, is that every 5th nail or so, they provide you with a tack you will actually have to hammer in, so you will not need to hammer in each and every nail.
 
You're done! You'll want to mount your headboard to the wall using whichever method your prefer (brackets, etc), but make sure the hardware you use can support the weight of your headboard. We chose to use the OOK Hangman 200 lb. French Cleat Picture Hanger from Home Depot, which worked out really well for us.
 
We found this tutorial from The Marilyn Denis Show really helpful as well.
 
Here is our finished product:
 
 
 
The nailhead trim turned out a lot better than I expected it to:
 
 
 
We also chose to mount it slight up from the top of the bed, based on the height of the headboard itself:
 
 
We also wanted to make sure the top of the headboard was close to the same height as our bedside table lamps:



For us, this seemed to be a good height for the room and wasn't too far up from the top of the bed. Plus, its not noticable from the front, once the pillows are on the bed and everything is all made up.



We're really happy with how it turned out and think it really helps to finish off the bed in this space:


And a sneak peek of the headboard in our finished bedroom (which we'll also be posting about soon!)

 
Here's the cost breakdown:
 
Costs:
 
Solid wood headboard: $50.00 (purchased from Kijiji)
Fabric: $60 (3 yards purchased at $30/yard, but only 2 yards used)
Nailhead trim: $15 (4 bags at $5.00 each, only used 3)
Foam: $10.00
Batting: Had on hand (free!)
Mounting Hardware: $15.00
 
Total Cost: $150.00 (approx)
 
Definitely a cost savings in our books...since most of the headboards we've seen have been at least $200+. You could still cost costs by using a piece of plywood or wood on hand, going with a less expensive fabric and cutting out the nailhead detail if you choose.
 
Sources:
 
Headboard: Kijiji
Fabric: Tonic Living
Nailhead trim: Lee Valley Tools
Batting: my mom's closet :)
Mounting Hardware: Home Depot
 
 
Have any of you upholstered anything lately? Have you used nailhead trim? If so, we'd love to hear how it worked out for you! Its almost Friday everyone! Happy weekend :)
 
Melissa and Ian

3.19.2013

Staircase Overhaul...Part 2

 
Bring in the painter! In continuing our staircase overhaul saga once we had ripped out the carpet, staples and cleaned the floors, the next step was to bring in our painter. If you missed the first part of our staircase project, you can read that here. Since we were working with a special paint and really didn't want to mess this up, we figured it was best to bring in the pro's.
 
Our plan was to paint the posts and railings, since they had already been previous stained and we didn't want to go through the work of stripping, sanding and staining them. So we went on a search to find the darkest brown colour we could find. We wanted the stair treads, railing and posts to all be a dark brown (the same colour as our wood floors), but it was almost impossible to find a perfect brown colour to match. We actually went to 3 different stores for paint chips and ended up going with Behr "Bitter Chocolate"- the darkest we could find without going black:
 

 
 
Here are the railings and end posts painted with the dark brown and all of the small posts re-painted white (we use "Simply White" by Benjamin Moore for all of the white paint in our home) : 
 



 
You can see in this picture, the section of curved railing is the original stain colour and the post has been painted with the dark brown. This was done as we decided to get rid of this curve in the staircase and straighten the bump at the base of the stairs. The plan was to cut part of the railing out and straighten it, so we didn't need that one section painted:
 
 
Once the paint was on the railings we thought it matched fairly well with the floors...until the treads were put on. Once we treads were put on, the railings and posts looked much too light, and we didn't like the contrast of the painted areas with the stained areas. As well, the brown paint was not dark enough. I would recommend either going with a black paint or getting something colour matched if you have that option. We wanted to do a colour match, but they were unable to colour match to a piece of stained wood (the wood grain has too many variations of colours in it and the system would not pick it up properly) so we had to go with a premixed colour.

Back to square one. We are now debating on stripping, sanding and staining the railings (using a tester piece of wood elsewhere in our house) and seeing how they react.

Oh and I also forgot to mention we weren't happy with the post either. Once the railing was cut and straightened it looked fine, however the end post itself is not substantial enough. We are now thinking of replacing it, or finding a way to build up the post to make it larger.

So this project took a couple of unexpected turns. Its going to be more work than we were anticipating, but once its complete I think it will look great and totally change the look of our entrance.

Expect many more posts to come on the progress of these stairs!

Melissa and Ian

3.15.2013

Staircase Overhaul

We decided to redo the staircase.
 
It wasn't that we didn't like the function of it, but we are slowly updating this house one room at a time and the staircase was one of those things that constantly kept nagging at us to change it
 
We knew we didn't want the carpet on it anymore, so we decided to take a risk and rip the carpet off, hoping there could POSSIBLY be nice wood treads underneath. Then we would simply stain them and all would be right in the world. Nope plywood. So we knew we needed to stick with full carpeting of the stairs or go for the overhaul. We went for the overhaul. Not without a ton of planning and inspiration pics of course.
 
Here are a few that inspired us (all of which you can find on our Pinterest here, and one that we actually posted to our Facebook page yesterday):



                              Via:  Contemporary Staircase by Cambridge Architect LDa Architecture & Interiors




 
 

 

and the image that has inspired the overall look that we want for our hallway:


 Via
 
So, after seeing all these beauties we couldn't really keep the carpet. One day after work I came home and the carpet was pretty much gone. Ian went to town and ripped it up, staples and all...well most of the staples. Him and I spent another 4 hours one night taking out ALLLL of the staples on these stairs. I can honestly say, there could have been a tornado that destroyed our entire home and that carpet still would have been firmly attached to those stairs there were so many staples.
 
After the staple removing party, we ended up with this:
  
 




And if you didn't see it on our Facebook page, here was the before:




So we're in it now! Carpet is gone, and there's a lot to do to get these beauties made-over. We've actually come quite far this week, and we're almost finished (with a few set-backs of course), but we'll share the next phase of this project with in our next post.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Melissa and Ian

3.14.2013

We're Back!


Hi Everyone!
Wow, it's been a while...but we're so happy to be back.
Over the past few months, Ian and I have been focusing on some other things and the blog unfortunately took a bit of a back seat. Keeping up with projects, photos, postings and the other things going on in our lives became too much and the one thing we knew we could put a hold on (unfortunately) was the blog.
The funny thing was, we really didn't think many people would miss us. Now, we know we have incredible readers out there, but we figured that people might occasionally check back, but not really miss us. We never expected to hear from so many of you: "are you going to get back to the blog again soon?!" and to have so many questions as to what projects we were working on, or what we planned to post about once we returned to blogging. We cannot thank you enough *HUG* for all of those comments.
It truly helped us believe that although we started this blog as simply a way to document what we were doing to update our home and to keep a journal for ourselves, it has evolved into so much more.  We heard from people, that they liked learning about the projects we were doing, to get inspired to do something to their homes and to realize that they too, could do things themselves.

We thought about it, and realized how much we really missed documenting these things and sharing these projects with everyone. We never stopped working on projects...we may have slowed down a bit, but I don’t actually think we could have fully stopped. At least one conversation we have every day starts out with "soooo I was thinking for the kitchen..." or "what colour were you thinking for the hallway...” etc. It's literally something we not only enjoy doing, but truly have a passion for.
So in getting back to the blog, we've set a few parameters for ourselves. We're blogging for multiple reasons- for us, for you and for those who we hope are inspired from what we do. We're not going to say that every day we're going to post a new project or that every week we'll have a series or posts or anything like that. We're going to post as much as we can...so that we still love blogging as much as we always did. We're not blogging to make money or to advertise products we don’t support- we're just blogging to share ideas and to keep our creativity alive.

We hope you'll continue to pop in every once in a while and read about a project that hopefully inspires you to fix up that old item in your garage, paint a room you've been thinking about for months, or try doing something you might not have thought you could. Most of all, we truly thank you for your support and encouragement. Less than 3 years ago, neither of us realized how much of a passion we have for working on our home together. Completing these projects and blogging about them has brought us closer, helped us to share in successes, learn from those "not so successful attempts", and actually keep us focused on the positive things in our lives.

So this message has a few purposes. The first is really just to thank you. To thank you for supporting us, for sticking with us and for being so positive about what we do. The second is to let you know that blogging is a part of our lives, but not our entire lives. We have jobs, families, school, and other commitments just like everyone else, and we'll continue to blog, but we're not going to let it take over our lives.

Over the next while, we'll be posting about several projects we've been working on, sharing news and things that have been happening in our lives. We're excited to share all of that with you and to reconnect with so many of you whom we've met and developed relationships with through our blog.

We've missed you, and we're happy to be back!

Melissa, Ian and Clover

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