Making over a piano stool

After a long and somewhat restful holiday, I’m back.  I hope you have been enjoying your summer, even if you have been having rather questionable summer weather, like we have in Ottawa.

I didn’t entirely rest during my holiday at my cottage, as there is always lots to do there, but we did get more down time in this summer, as compared to previous years.  And I’m excited that we will be continuing the three year long process of replacing the rustic log deck railing (that is literally falling apart) with more of the modern aluminium and glass railing that we started last year.  It’s part of my quest to have pieces that are less maintenance,  I’m sure it will eventually pay off :-)

Hubby spent most of his time working on some exterior plumbing and yearly roof maintenance and I was happy to get a few more painting projects done.  I even managed to buy another item that needed some love, as if I didn’t have enough items already around to refinish or repaint.  It all started when my daughters came up for the weekend and we made a little trip to Renfrew. We popped into Pick-it-fence, which is such a great store,  and managed to find ourselves in the second hand area at the back of the store. I just couldn’t resist this adorable little piano stool.

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I just can’t seem to resist a little stool, as I always see it as double duty piece, a stool and/or a side table.  So, home it came.  My daughter immediately said it had to be the same happy colour as the small china cabinet that I recently refinished.  Read about that makeover here.

And so with those instructions, I was off.  I didn’t even give it a sanding as it was in good shape and I think the white paint was pretty recent.  So out came the latex paint (I didn’t transform it into chalk paint this time) and with a soft brush I gave it two thorough coats of paint.  Easy as pie!

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For it’s first job it got to hold my cup of tea and the last of the cupcakes from our weekend celebration :-)

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I love that it can be either a stool or a little table, and predict that it will be well used.  A pretty and practical piece, in a bright and happy colour!

Lisa

Beachy caribbean blue china cabinet makeover

Hope you had a great Canada Day my fellow Canadians and, to my American readers, hope your Independence Day is fabulous!

We had such great hot weather here that it was hard to get all the jobs done but I did get this accomplished.   I’m thrilled with the little brightness it adds to this dark corner.

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If you don’t remember this is how it looked before the mini makeover.

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Such a cute little cabinet but it needed a happy colour!  P.S. Sorry for the all the reflections, it’s really hard to take a picture of a glass cabinet with three windows reflecting all around it.  You can even see my purple floral sundress that I was wearing when I took the photos :-)

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And it brightens up this corner perfectly.  And if you were really paying attention, you’ll notice that I also changed out the hardware.  I had a cute crystal knob on hand that I used on the top door. But for the bottom I decided on a tiny brass knob instead of the larger crystal one, it just seemed a tad too big on the bottom door).  I also had great fun styling it.

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Some faux coral, a pretty glass aqua starfish, a little white canister from Indigo to add some texture and a trio of small blue bottles I picked up in California last year.  I may add some blooms to them as well.

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And last but not least a glass dome with some green moss and a few seashells to add to the beachy theme.

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P.S. Since a lot of people asked, I thought I would include the recipe for homemade chalk paint that I used for this piece and in these furniture makeovers as well – China Hutch and Buffet (click on the name to read those posts).

Here’s the recipe (which I found online here).

Homemade Chalk Paint

2 cups of latex paint (I used eggshell) in the colour of your choice
5 tbsp plaster of paris
1 1/2 tbsp cool water (the original recipe calls for 3 tbsp, I like the thicker version of the paint)
Mix the plaster of paris with the water, stir thoroughly till there are no lumps.  Then add latex paint and mix completely. It should be just as smooth as the plain paint when you started.
 

The beauty of chalk paint is that very little prep is needed.  I very lightly sanded the piece because it was so dark and then I used a small foam roller to apply two coats of the chalk paint.  For the tight areas I used a tiny foam brush, letting the first coat dry for about an hour.  I then let it dry completely for a few days, before I applied  The Fat Paint Company Wax in antique.  I spread a very light coat  over the entire surfaces, buffing it to a shine, after waiting 10 minutes.  After a half an hour,  I used The Fat Paint Company Wax in natural,  to cover the entire piece and buff it to a shine, once dry.  If more shine is desired, another coat of wax can be used.  It goes on so nice and easy with a clean dry cloth.

If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my amateur painter ability :-)

Lisa

Exterior cottage love going on

Well, now with the warmer weather finally here, at least in my neck of the wood, I hope you are enjoying it. School is almost out and I’m sure that is a relief to end all the lunch making, homework checking and routine. Here’s to a great summer for everyone!

I have a bit of progress to report at the cottage.  Hubby has been determined to get the fire table finished, so here’s where we are now, and by we I really mean him.  I’ve done nothing, except help with the design and the finishes…of course :-)   Can’t wait to try it out.

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And I received my fabric order from a few weeks back, so I’ll be sewing up a storm, whenever I can get a second.  These will be exterior cushions for the cottage deck.   Can’t wait for them to liven up the wood chairs, wood deck and log exterior of the cottage….you get the idea…so much wood…and so0000 much brown.

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And kind of another exterior update, Hubby got the terracotta tile laid in the sunroom, right at the entrance to the deck.  It still needs to be grouted, I’ll share the progress once it is completed.  He’s been a busy, busy, boy.

While he was working away, I kept myself busy making over this lovely little china cabinet that a neighbour gifted to me.  I know it’s not really related to the cottage exterior theme of this post, but I’d thought I’d share it anyways.  It’s a perfect fit in this somewhat dark corner of the cottage, so I decided it should be a nice bright colour to liven up the corner.  This is how it looked:

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And in the process:

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I told you it was bright….and quite lively.  I used homemade chalk paint (Cyan Sky) and I will be giving it a going over with some antique wax (which will tone it down a little) and then of course, some clear wax to finish it properly.  I love, love, Fat Wax in case you are looking for a recommendation. Check out their website for locations near you.  I’ll post a picture once it’s completed, hopefully soon.

We also went to the Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour a few weeks ago. I posted about it last year, when all the TBBs went.  Hubby got an adorable candy dish for his office (sorry forget to snap a pic before he went off with it) but I did get this great shot of an old barn on one of the properties.  There is just something about old, timeworn barns that appeals to me.

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Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and an

early Happy Fourth of July, to my American readers!  

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Lisa

How to furnish and love a long narrow living room in 5 easy steps

So, you have a long narrow living or family room, and perhaps you are a little puzzled on how to go about using it to it’s full potential or at least making it appear less long and narrow.   Well, I have some quick tips for you so you can achieve this.

1.  First off, do not make the shorts walls a featured area.  This will just draw your eye right to the other end of the room and emphasize it’s narrowness.  So therefore, no accent walls of paint or wallpaper, and if possible, do not place the television or fireplace here.

2.  Do try and place the television/fireplace or other focal pieces, on one of the long walls, so that your focus is redirected there.

3. Place furniture away from the short walls wherever possible, so that they are drawn more into the center of the room.  Creating two seating areas works well in this kind of room and enables it to be used to it’s full potential.

4. Built ins or shelving units are your friend and can be used on the short walls to create some additional storage and they will inevitably cause the room to be shortened in length.

5. Don’t be afraid of larger pieces of furniture, like sectionals.  They take up less space than a sofa and loveseat and give you just as much seating, if not more, and allow you to stretch out to watch your favourite Netflick shows.

Recently, I did up a floor plan for a client with just this dilemma and here’s the two options I gave her.   *There is an interesting closet like space at the end of the room that we needed to work with, you know old homes and all their character.  Also, keep in mind drawings are for design layout purposes only and not necessarily suggestions for colour or specific pieces.
Option 1 - 
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End of the room closet area was brought forward by using a console with a piece of art above and two matching chairs in front as the secondary seating area.  The remainder of the room is focused on the television set in the middle of one of the long walls with a sectional facing it.
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Option 2 - 
The east side of the room remains the same, with the west side accommodating a built in bookcases and storage.
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So what’s your favourite Option?
Lisa

A small bench….slipcovered

I managed to do a tiny little makeover project for my cottage bathroom recently.  I’ve included the basic instructions in case you want to tackle something similar.

I started with this rather old and grubby little bench that I’ve been using as a vanity seat in my bathroom.

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I wanted a cover that I could wash easily and feel clean and fresh.  So I decided on terry towelling, i.e. towels! I picked up two large white bath towels in the clearance section of HomeSense and I was well on my way.  Be sure to wash them in hot water and put them in the dryer, to avoid any shrinkage.

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I measured the top and sides.  This is also where you figure out how long you want the slipcover to be.   I wanted to make sure the legs weren’t showing so I went almost to the floor.  I also wanted the yoke of the towel to line up on all four sides and for the finished end of the towel to become the hem.

I added 1/2″ for any necessary seam allowances, so on each side I added 1″ as there are two sides to sew and 1/2″ on the top of each side piece, which is sewn to the top of the bench.  The photo above shows the process of cutting out the sides from the towel.

Once all the pieces were cut,  I sewed the four sides to the top piece at the edge of the seat.

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Then I proceeded to pin the sides together, being careful that my towel yoke (is that the correct term?) was lined up.   To do this I put the slipcover on the bench, inside out to ensure the fit was fairly tight.   I should also mention that I zigzagged about 3 times over each raw edge to help with fraying.  This was when I wished I had a fancier sewing machine or a serger but alas, I don’t.

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And here’s the finished slipcovered bench.

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It was pretty easy, only took me about 2 hours from start to finish and I zigzagged the edges on the remaining pieces of towels to use as rags.  Waste not, want not :-)

Lisa