Thursday, September 29, 2016

Easy Reupholstery Part 2: The back of the French Chair

This is the second part to my Easy Upholstery post for the French Chair.
As I had never upholstered before, I went about it in a different fashion,
and as usual, I try to figure out the easiest and fastest way to get a great result.
The chair looks like it came from a furniture store, when in reality it came from
an antique shop, and it was just an ugly fabric.
When I left off, I had not finished this back panel of the chair, nor had I applied the "gimp" trim,
which is a flat braid that is used to cover up raw edges and staples.  I have had quite a few emails
inquiring was I ever going to finish the chair and post about it?  Well I did finish it, but never got
around to posting....so here is how I did it, in the easiest way possible, of course!
Measure roughly how much area you need to cover with the gimp and then go to 
a fabric shop or craft shop and select the color and style of flat braid (gimp) you think
looks best.  I picked out an off white color, but I likely would have gone for a bit darker,
but this was all they had.  This is simply applied by using a hot glue gun.  Fold over one edge
of the gimp and glue it to itself to create a finished edge on the gimp. Then simply glue
along the edge of the staples and press the gimp into position. Finish the same way,
by turning under the last part of the gimp and glueing down to hide the raw edge.   
For reference, this is the fabric as it is stapled onto the edge of the frame, 
and then trimmed back very closely.  These areas need to be covered with gimp.
I also applied the gimp around the small upholstered arm rests, 
and anywhere you could see where you had stapled the fabric to the chair frame.
For the back, there was NO place to apply staples, 
as the back panel is usually done first by the upholsterer.  But we are covering
existing upholstery...so its going to be a different approach.
( The back panel area is just a covering of fabric stretched across for a decorative purpose.
  No one sits on it, so there is no support under the backs.)
I came up with a clever way to go about it, and easy too.
A green burlap fabric was chosen for the back (you can use the same fabric as the rest of the chair, but I wanted to have something more interesting). I used some pins to place the burlap over the back and hold it in position.  Then I cut the burlap to be about 1" - 2" bigger than the back area I needed to cover.  I don't have photos to show this, because I can't find them...but its super easy.  Cut out your back fabric to be a little bit bigger than the area you will cover.  
Now you have your fabric ready to be attached....but how?


Using spray adhesive (any brand from a craft store will do), 
I sprayed the back of the chair right over the existing old fabric. 
 Then I smoothed on the burlap over the old fabric using my hands,
leaving an inch or two excess around the edges. 
Next, you have to push the excess fabric under the wood frame. 
 You may have to trim the excess fabric to less than an inch, depending 
upon how much you can push it under the frame.  

To push it under the frame I used a metal spatula.
Simply shove the fabric under the frame using the spatula to guide it under the wood frame.
Remember, you will trim around the edges with decorative trim or more gimp.
It was quick and easy and painless!  
I used a fancy trim for the back to add extra interest,
but you could certainly just use more gimp. 
 In fact you wouldn't need to add anything, because
the raw edges are hidden under the frame, but it looked unfinished to me.
Use your hot glue gun to apply the trim around the back.
 Start in a random side spot so when your starting and 
ending edges meet, its not in a super obvious place.
These chairs look good from the back as well as the front,
so that is why its fun to use a complementary fabric for the backing.
And that is how I upholstered this 1970s French Chair into something I love.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Kitchen and Bath Updates and a Black and White Fixation

This summer we did some upgrading of our countertops in 
both the kitchen and the master bath.
I realize I never blogged about them.   Why?
 I guess I never thought the kitchen or the bathroom
looked neat enough to take a bunch of photos.  
But since Fifi was coming out for the photo shoot 
I did take a photo of the kitchen right before she arrived.  
The lights were on, as it was a dark and dreary day and so the pic looks yellowish. 
Ugh.
When a few images sneaked onto the blog a few weeks ago,
a sharp eyed reader and pal demanded to know all about them!! So Nita, here you go!
With the new counters we got a new sink!  
Out went the old washboard porcelain vintage sink.  Which I did love.  
Green canisters from an Etsy source and an old tole chandelier 
and then some green toile curtains I made are the other new additions to the kitchen.
One version of my old kitchen (for about a year), 
was this one with the bright green paint on the  beadboard back splash.  
I did get tired of it, and then repainted it white...but it does look pretty here.
Anyway, I love my new counters with the undermount sink
 as it gives me more countertop space to the left and the right of the sink, 
which I really needed.
 Overall the "new" kitchen is still very cottage and cute.
Another new (minor) change was I decided to paint the 
laundry room/ bathroom cabinetry black.  
After I painted my new French Doors black, I thought they looked incredible...
and so I got the idea to do these cabinets. 
I love the look, and even though we didn't change anything else, 
the room feels very different. In a good way! 
 Black is becoming a slight obsession with me, 
and I realized this after doing several projects using black, or black and white. 
 Always a classic, black just has a classy look about it.
This was where the black fixation thing started...
with the exterior paint on the french doors.
WOW! They looked so fantastic!
So then I painted the little french door for the shed black...
And that looked really cool...so then I made a new umbrella cover 
in black and white copying the pattern from the old covering. 
 Its all so chic, in black and white.  
And then the black and white buffalo check curtains (Country Curtains)
in the TV room with the black and white rug (from Overstock)
But I digress...
The other countertop upgrade was in our master bathroom.  
This was a major improvement!
Going from formica to stone is just a huge change!!
We both love the difference it made in how light and airy and rich the bathroom feels.
The countertop is quartz and its in white with grey and bits of aqua and celery green. 
 Really very pretty stone, and so the cabinetry was painted in a pale aqua blue 
to enhance the coloring in the stone.
So that led to me adding a few french crystals in aqua to the gold chandeliers,
 as well as painting the closets in the same shade as the vanity.  
The walls are Simply White and its all very bright and happy in this space.  
This was the former space. Theatrical French Lady Style.
All done in pink and cocoa with gilded accents.  
Pretty, but I think we were all ready for a change.  
(Note the old formica countertops that were a dark grey color.)
When Fifi styled it for the magazine, she put back the pink hooked rugs. 
 It looked really pretty that way too, because my towels have pink in them.
Fifi wanted to know why I didn't paint the door aqua too?
Hmmm, I just thought this time, it should be white. 
But maybe she is right.
I think she probably is right. 
(Speaking of the Fifi Photo Shoot, she sent me a few images I can share...
so here is this one from the bathroom of course!)
Anyway, those are the new changes that missed being called out in the blog, 
so here they are!  Its been a fun and busy summer and maybe the courtyard
and our new fence overshadowed some of these other home improvements. 

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Friday, September 23, 2016

A Fall French Country Home Tour with Soft Surroundings

September has ushered in the cooler fall weather, and I couldn't be more excited to be partnering with Soft Surroundings to create a new look for this room for our French Country House Tour.
 I am working with a group of super French Country Bloggers headed by Janet Coon of Shabby Fufu blog.  See the fabulous furnishings and accessories from Soft Surroundings and how we all have incorporated them into our own homes. The icing on the cake is that Romantic Homes Magazine is going to cover our French Country Fall Home Tour to spread the inspiration around!  
So many ways to style a room for fall, and sometimes a new piece of furniture  
or a great accessory is a fabulous way to get you inspired.
Pale shades of blue are my go to colors, and sometimes Fall decorating can be a challenge.
My fall palette is typically less of the oranges and more of the beige and tans.
Even then, I am a less is more girl, when it comes to fall decor, so I choose carefully.
I actually started decorating with only traditional fall colors....
but then I opted to add something softer.
(Thats why at some points you will see my big pink floral bouquet and other times it will be missing.)

How about these blue Cinderella pumpkins?  I think they were made
for  me, 'cause I rarely do orange! I snapped up a bunch at the farm stand
and knew they would work perfectly with my fall decor plan.
For starters, I used one of the French Norman Grain Sacks from 
Soft Surroundings as a rustic runner and focal point of the large trunk/coffee table.  
This is a vintage grain sack with a newly applied graphic in a romantic french style
 and I just love it!  Its a rustic tan color and has a dark aqua stripe down the middle.
Add some blue pumpkins (of course!)  to create an easy fall centerpiece.  
A plaid throw in grey and tan tossed over the back of the sofa is 
also an easy decorator trick to bring in the fall season.
Don't forget to play around with throws and pillows, 
you will be amazed at the different looks you get.
There are also a lot of things you can do with a grain sack for that casual 
French Country look, but used as a runner its super easy and stylish.
Pillows made from these pretty old grain sacks are another option of course. 
 A great fall accessory, don't overlook the grain sack!
Similar French Empire Crystal Chandelier
Now, to my favorite piece from Soft Surroundings....
the Fontaine Wingback Chair in French Grey !! 
Soft Surroundings is a clothing and furniture company both online 
as well in brick and mortar stores.  Their furniture is lovely and has a
French sensiblity to it, which I adore. 
This handsome chair has added that perfect balance
 of masculinity to my room that has feminine touches.
French style can be fussy, and this chair mixes it up nicely.  
The Fontaine has that deconstructed look that is rustic and appealing.  
The chair is in a dark grey linen with tan burlap that is placed on the outside 
of the seating area for a two tone look, with deep button tufting. 
 It's already my husband's favorite place to have his morning coffee.
It's such a gorgeous chair! 
Shop similar items: Blue Chandelier
Last, but not least, the Riviera Nesting Tables were added to complete 
the new look of the room.  I adore these tables in the distressed blue finish.
The blue has some green in it, which is my favorite kind of blue.  
My walls are painted in pretty Ben Moore Woodlawn Blue,
so you can reference that color if you are considering this versatile set. 
Many of you may know I used to paint furniture professionally,
 and these tables are done very nicely.  
Even my son thought they were antiques!  
They are made from solid poplar wood, not a composite.
Well built and sturdy, I couldn't be happier with them.  
At the last minute I added these flowers....
And then I had to take photos of the whole room again.
So pretty! 
Yummy pink and blue with grey and tan:
~the Maison Decor Fall Palette~
Maybe not the typical Fall decor for most, but its fun to make 
it my own. That is what personal style is all about!
Either way, I love decorating and its been fun to play with my
new furnishings and accessories from Soft Surroundings.
Cozy up for fall and pull your chairs around the fireplace.
Set out some pumpkins and add some leaf garlands around your mantle 
or mirrors.  Use your favorite colors that go with your palette and
you will create a fall feeling in no time that is your style.
Our living room still has the romantic look I love, but the new additions
have given it a rustic flair, perfect for fall and the cooler months ahead.
Although I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.
I really couldn't wait to work with this company!
Now I'm headed to visit my blogger friends homes to see how they changed it 
up for fall with Soft Surroundings, and get inspired to decorate for Fall.
Even I haven't seen them yet!!
There are two groups showing off their amazing homes (along with mine)
 on Thursday and Friday. See below.
Click on the links to visit each blogger and prepared to be WOWED!!


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Thursday

Shabbyfufu | Maison de Pax | Dixie Delights | Cedar Hill Farmhouse | Confessions of a Plate Addict Savvy Southern Style Housepitality Designs

Friday

Edith and Evelyn Vintage Maison Decor Designthusiasm
So Much Better With Age Eleven Gables Slightly Coastal

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Day One: French Country Fall Tour with Soft Surroundings


Hello and Welcome to the First Day of The French Country Fall Tour 
with Soft Surroundings and Romantic Homes Magazine.
I will be back to share my home tomorrow with a group of amazing decorator bloggers.
Today you can visit the bloggers listed below on Thursday's links
and tomorrow the links for Friday's group will be active.
So if you click on my link, it won't work until Friday, got it?
I know you will not want to miss this...
These are some of the most incredible decorators on this tour~
and with the beautiful additions from Soft Surroundings, 
you will find inspiration galore!

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