Posts tagged #living

Out with the old and in with the new! Well, sort of...

There is a first for everything! And this self-proclaimed designer had one of those just this week: my very first reupholstery project! And you must be thinking that this is going to be one of the most epic DIY posts on this blog, right? 

Yeah... Wrong. I think it is safe to say that reupholstering is never going to be my area of DIY expertise. It's just too overwhelmingly hard! I think I must be admitting to another first here, by the way: owning up to something I am unable to do...

But back to the project! I have had this very interesting orange chair for a few years. It is sort of an egg chair replica, but not quite. Major differences include price (the cheapest egg chair costs more than $6,000 and this chair was technically free - it came with the house), the seams (mine sports quite a few more seams making it far easier to reupholster but quite less cool) and, I dare say, comfort (I think my chair is clearly the winner here, merely a result of more seams and thus more cushioning). 

The only problem was that it looked like this... (And, oh, hey there, dad!). 

(A little side note here: let's just agree that taste is an ever-evolving thing... So, hey, hold back your kind judgment on my lapses of design judgment from 8 years ago :) (e.g. dear Ikea footstool, I am sure you sounded like a great idea back then but black velvet and two pets just don't gel well!). 

So, as you can see, the chair had some gorgeous lines and some seriously awful color. Therefore, for the last 6 years, it hid upstairs. That is, until my most recent living room rearrangement, during which I moved my two (replica) Barcelona chairs in front of my large windows thus effectively removing all sitting furniture from my sitting area other than my sofa.

My initial thought was to proceed with procuring a brand new piece of furniture. But three to four failed almost $1,000 purchases later, I decided I can be smarter about this. Enter this thought: "What about that orange chair?" Yup, the seed was planted and so I started thinking... If I were to reupholster the chair... what color would it be? Hmmm.... Options, please?

I love having options :). And I took this one to a vote (because I couldn't make up my mind). Everyone overwhelmingly voted for number three. And since I clearly spoiled the surprise by having a picture of the chair at the beginning, you have probably noticed that I picked none of the above. To be fair, I had every intention of going with the popular cognac color. But something quickly dawned on me as I was going through the piles of fabric at High Fashion Home. That all of these designs assumed white floors! What about my awesome rich wooden floors underneath? Yeah, that will quickly get you to a nice brown overload. Which led me to selecting the very polar opposite instead: a creamy and soft white: 

A few key things I had to consider (aka lessons learned) when picking the fabric. First, stretch. In reupholstering such crazy shapes as this chair's, one should always go for fabric that has just a bit of stretch in it. I didn't (mistake!). But thankfully, it was a mistake I didn't have to deal with (see there? outsourcing is always a smart option). Second? The type of fabric. In my experience, microfiber is the only fabric that can stand up to both having a dog and a cat (and as you can tell, Rebel is already taking a liking to his new digs). And last, but not least, price. There's always a possibility for a bargain - you just have to look long enough (e.g. about three hours in the fabric section of the store). I needed 8 yards for this project and I found the perfect fabric buried way, way back that was $15.99/yard with a healthy 50% off. A total steal!

So, there... for the small price of $265 ($200 for labor plus $65 for fabric), I got myself a gorgeous classic chair to my color and fabric liking. And even though it may be an oldie, we certainly taught this chair some new tricks, don't you think??

Happy inspired Monday!

Posted on September 21, 2015 and filed under Design + DIY.

Design on a Budget | Living Room Reinvention

Since I was a Little Girl...

I used to rearrange my room very often (my parents may argue too often mostly because of the obscene amount of holes in the wall from rearranging of the artwork). With time, I seem to have upgraded to rearranging my house instead (the bigger the playground, the better!). And recently, I had another one of those moments with my living room. I had been struggling with not feeling cozy at home since my last rearrangement exercise. Here is a shot of the before: 


Even though it seemed like a great arrangement for photographs, it proved not practical because:

  • The couch was under the stairs: good idea at first and not so good of an idea as time went by. It was a good idea from a floor plan and space perspective because the couch is the bulkiest piece of furniture in a living room and fitting it under an otherwise unusable space is practical and makes the room feel bigger. It was not a good idea because being under the stairs, you are under undeniable foot traffic and therefore constant source of dust.
  • The couch was perpendicular to the TV: even though I am not a TV person, I stream a lot of content via my Smart TV and having to keep your head turned to watch or having to lie down to be comfortable was simply too limiting. And it excluded the option of having anyone else sit and watch with you.

The solution? Move the couch away from under the stairs and turn it to face the TV! The only implication to doing so was that due to the layout of my living room, you ended up walking in and facing the back of a couch. And as much as I love my couch and it's pretty lines, it just didn't feel welcoming. 

Console table comes to the rescue!

I knew I wanted to put something behind the sofa and I started researching online. There are a few online stores I frequent, such as West Elm, CB2, Crate and Barrel, etc. but they all tend to be rather pricey (and I tend to be rather cheap). They are great for inspiration, just not for execution. So, I directed my attention to a great value site that I hadn't visited in a while: Cost Plus World Market. There, I came across their Lawrence console table which also happened to be on sale from $379.99 to $179.99 - score!  

When the table arrived, I have to admit, I was surprised by how big it was (who knew 30" was that tall?). But I am always up for a challenge and saw the opportunity instantly - console table or work desk? I had been wanting a place where I can sit and work while watching TV, and now I got it (albeit accidentally)! By recycling my chair from the upstairs office and adding two stunning (-ly affordable at $24.99 each) lamps from Target (you can find them here), my unexpected furniture challenge became an awesome functional solution. 

Cheers to reinventing a living room on a budget!

Posted on August 3, 2014 and filed under Design + DIY.