Monday, October 10, 2011

Recovering and Updating Old Chairs

Chairs before makeover
There is a store open in Minneapolis called the Cottage House. The great and wonderful thing about this store is it sells fabulous old furniture for really cheap prices. What makes this store special is it is only open Wednesday through Sunday once a month. SO, you have to get there when it opens on Wednesay to get the best pick of all the great stuff. Jon and I decided to go and check it out the other day. We are an a hunt for a great dining room set that will fit nicely in our apartment and is a little unique (we don't absolutly love the traditional). We had no idea we would score on our first visit to te Cottage House!! As soon as we pulled up we spotted them, four, wrought iron chairs with a beautiful mustard faux leather back. They were prefect and only $14 a piece!!!! We couldn't say no!

The wrought iron on the chairs had at one time been spray painted white but the paint was chipping off. The seats on the chairs were covered in a black, linen-like fabric. Nither the white or the black fabric worked with the look we are going for in the living room. So, we picked up a can of spray paint at our local Home Depot in silver and Jon went to work.

After Makeover
While Jon spray painted I hunted around at Joann Fabric for some new fabric for the chairs. I knew it had to look good with the silver and the mustard backing. I finally found the perfect thing! The good news about shopping at Joann is that everything is usally on sale. If it's not on sale you can either sign up to receive their coupons in the mail (I think this is worth it because there are some great deals in there) or you can print them off online to use in store. A good source for Joann coupons is or When I got home I traced the seat cushion onto the back of my fabric making sure to add on 4in to all sides to cover the sides of the seat cushion. I used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the seat cushion. As long as everything looks good on top, no one is going to see the bottom :) We are very pleased with the finished product!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Finally a New Couch!!

After much debate and searching, Jon and I finally settled on a new couch for the living room. Because we don't have a lot of space we knew we wanted something a bit more streamlined and comtemporary. No overstuffed leather sofa for us! Being newly-wed we also knew we didn't want to have to pay a lot for the sofa. After all there are more pieces we would like to get for the living room besides a sofa :) Earlier in the week we found an entertainment set in a dark chocolate brown color at Ikea. While we were shopping at Ikea we came across the perfect sofa in a grey/white patterned fabric. The look was perfect! I was hesitant about purchasing a sofa from Ikea but Jon eventually won me over with the price (and after sitting on one for awhile in the store I realized they were quite comfortable.) What helps to make Ikea furniture so cheap is all the pieces are self-assembled. After the couch and the entertainment set Jon and I have spent some great time bonding over assembling instructions :) The great part is, the sofa is wide enough so if we remove the back cushions it makes up a twin bed. Perfect for a small, one bedroom apartment!

In an Autumn State of Mind

The weather here does not seem to be behaving in its usual fashion! It is October and almost 80 degrees!!! This does not stop me from enjoying all the regular fall activities however. As I write a squash is baking in the oven with brown sugar, cranberries and butter :) It smells DELICIOUS! The smell and the leaves changing color put me in mind to begin decorating the apartment, preparing it for the Holiday season. My current project (besides settling in and putting everything together) is to find creative, fun ways to decorate. Some of my favorite places to get decorating ideas are furniture and accessory stores like Pottery Barn and West Elm. They have some really great display ideas.
Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

I also found these fabulous and incredibly fun napkin holders that are really easy to make!!! The neat thing is you can make some for every season using different ribbon.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What a Fine Fall Night

My husband and I just returned from a bonfire without the fire. The plan was to all gather for a potluck dinner and end the evening around a campfire but unfortunately the weather has been so dry and warm the state is under a fire ban. So, instead of a campfire we ate our dinner and than pulled up our chairs around a cleverly arranged flashlight. It felt good to swap stories with good friends and enjoy good food.

My sister has me hooked on a new website called Pintrist. I have become obsessed with "pinning" things and creating my boards. This new website has become a good place for me to put my ideas, recipes I want to try and furniture on my wish list :) As soon as we got home from the campfire I immediately logged into Pintrist and found a gorgeous mirrored desk from West Elm. The desk is truly stunning and was placed at the top of my wish list for the living room!!

That's all for today, I have a husband and a good movie to get back to :)

Another Check on the Checklist!

Now you can definitely say I have "completed" something! It only took a few hours and all my kitchen items are now safely housed in cupboards, on cupboards...anywhere we could make them fit in my tiny kitchen. I realize now after putting away serving platter, after serving platter that I may have abused the scanner while registering. For example, I have 12 dessert dishes. Beautiful but there is no way we are fitting 12 people in this apartment; which begs the question, when will I ever use 12 dessert dishes? Jon says if I try to bring home another serving platter I will be in big trouble. Oops! In all fairness how was I supposed to know everyone would choose to give us serving dishes? I thought some wedding guests would choose serving dishes but others would choose other important pieces like silverware. I was so wrong. I have a cupboard full of serving pieces and a drawer with only one set of flatware.

So, with the cupboards full of dishes there is very little room for food. This is a problem since I love to cook and definitely need a spot to house ingredients. We have decided to tackle this problem by converting a portion of the walk-in-closet in the entryway into a pantry. I'm going to do this by purchasing Itso cubes from Target that I can customize to fit my space (pictures to follow).
I have been sitting here looking at boxes for a couple hours now. There are a few sitting open and I feel progress has been made. Maybe not progress but the dinner plates have a home. I think I will write "find a home for dinner plates" on my to-do list than I can cross it off and voila! I have made progress.

Organization is the hurdle I have to overcome when I begin decorating. It is not my forte and definitely not a strength. Discovering your strengths and weaknesses is a really important step to completing any major project. So to compensate for my lack of organizational skills I enlisted the help of a dear friend. She should be here any minute with her brilliant organizational mind :)

Martha Stewert (despite her shortcomings) offers great tips on organizing that  are both creative and workable in small spaces. Here's her "tip for the day" on how to store boots.

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Apartment = blank canvas

My husband and I just moved into our new apartment and I am SO excited!!! I can't wait to begin painting, choosing fabric swatches and deciding on furniture. Tonight we are ordering pizza from a local pizzeria and eating it on our floor. We don't have anything unpacked yet and quite frankly the thought of sorting through boxes is a bit overwhelming. I have decided to push them aside for the evening and simply enjoy our new space :)

My husband, Jon, has suggested for quite some time I write a blog and I have never really been all that interested. However, with a new space to decorate and all my creative juices flowing I thought it could be fun to document my design journey. I love to refurbish old pieces of furniture and plan on sharing tips and great places to find awesome pieces. I'll explain my design process and how I plan on combining Jon's love for the minimulist with my love of old Hollywood glamour.

I am so excited to get started but in the mean time here are some picture of our new (albiet a little small but still perfectly wonderful) space!!!