Category Archives: Furniture

Furniture redos

Long Time, No See!

For most, a new year’s resolution involves exercising more, like once a week, or eating healthy. I myself like to keep things realistic. So I vow to try to keep up with these house renovation projects a bit better this year. In my defense, the end of 2013 was filled with lots of excitement, and writing updates on the reno blog wasn’t a top priority.

The most exciting thing in 2013 was the introduction of our new bundle of joy, Miles.


To get you caught up with whats been happening besides the baby, we finished up the baby’s room in time to welcome Miles in August, and the exterior of the addition was wrapped up just before his arrival. My original plan was to work on the addition during the 2 weeks I was off for paternity leave. Anybody that has ever had a child would have already known that this was a bad idea. I started to lay down the Hardibacker cement board, and in my sleep deprived brain couldn’t work even the most basic of math problems. So before I ruined $100 worth of product I decided to give it up until I could get some rest. 2 months later and I’m making progress. More on that later this week. I promise!

So what about that baby room you might ask? Well, it turned out pretty nice!

We decided to add chair rail to the room to break up the wall color.

Once the room was completed, we started the task of putting together baby furniture. We got our crib from Target, the rocking chair from Wal-Mart, and the credenza that we’re using as a changing table belonged to Sara’s grandmother.



And the finished room, with all of the decorations looks like this!


His closet isn’t the biggest of spaces, but we made good use of what we had. The addition of the rolling cart helps to keep his bath and sleeping supplies organized.



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Repurposing an Ottoman

Anyone with a pet knows that often times you have to make some tough decisions…either your furniture or your pet.  We chose to keep our dog Charlotte but that meant going through countless pieces of furniture that her little dog claws tore to pieces.  It took us a while but we finally figured out that any furniture with looped fabric would quickly become torn after being subjected to puppy feet.

At some point you invest too much money to keep throwing furniture away,  and we reached that point.  So,  after nearly a year of having stuffing tracked around the house after Charlotte slept on our ottomans, we decided it was high time we recovered them.  The process of covering the ottomans had several iterations.  First I tried to sew a cover for one,  but my sewing machine kept snagging, and being of little patience I just gave up.  Plus the fabric I chose was an off-white.  Not sure what I was thinking on that one.  So,  there they sat for another 6 months until the urge to cover hit me again.

This time I decided that sewing wasn’t in the mix for me and decided that a staple gun was a better option.  We picked out fabric online and several days later the box was at our door,  and we were ready to go!

Once we took the tops off we stuffed the holes with padding.


We chose the kind that was cut primarily because it was cheaper and really just Charlotte was going to use the ottomans,  so it really didn’t matter.  If you’re planning on having your ottoman be used for humans you might want to go the solid route.

We also put batting over the entire top and stapled it the the underside so that it would look less puckered after we covered it with fabric.


Then we covered the tops with fabric.  The fabric was stapled to the inside cover of the top.  We had a bit of a problem with our staples not going all the way into the cover,  but after  a few times we got the hang of it.


Next we covered the bottom of each using the same stapling strategy.  We weren’t quite sure how to make it all work together on the sides,  so we ended up just folding one of the pieces of fabric over to create a clean edge.  I’m not sure if that’s technically the correct way to do it, but it worked well enough for us, and quite frankly I’m not all that much for looking at directions.  It took us a couple of hours to complete the project.  It might have gone faster however, had we known what we were doing!

All in all I’m happy with the way they came out.   Charlotte and her cat sister Norma seem to agree.


All in all I’m calling it a success!

Have you ever recovered anything?  Do you have any tips for our next reupholstering project?



Filed under Decorating, Furniture

Taming the Hoard

Everyone knows that students are hoarders.  And that hoarding goes up exponentially based on the level of education you are attaining.  I’m a PhD student.  Enough said right?  Since entering my graduate career, I’ve found that I’ve accumulated a lot of paper.  My graduate program requires a large amount of reading,  mainly journal articles,  and you never know when you’re going to need to reference that *special* journal article you read three years ago.  This led me to have a variety of paper piles scattered around the house.  This created a variety of problems.  First,  it became difficult to find things. And really, why have things if you can’t find them! Second, well,  all that paper creates a pretty decent mess.

So,  in an effort to solve both problems we looked to our attic.  Luckily for us we have a variety of furniture that we inherited when my grandmother died several years ago.  Sure it was pea green and scratched, but it had good bones.

The piece was sanded down and several coats of paint were put on to give it a clean look.



I certainly love my bright colors, but it seemed most appropriate to paint it an off white.


A coat of paint didn’t fix the storage problem though,  but a bit of good old ingenuity did.  First, we took out the shelves that were in there …

And then we installed drawer pulls.


Here is the finished product in the new office.


Add some hanging files and you have a PhD students dream, perfectly organized research articles!

Repurposing furniture is one of my favorite things to do.  Have you ever repurposed furniture?  What did you do?

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Cedar Chest Make Over

When you have animals you find that everything you have gets ruined.  Maybe we’re not disciplinarian pet parents, but it seems as though our pets rule the roost.  Our last coffee table was a faux leather ottoman that one of our cats had shredded the top of.  This went on far too long!

cedar chest beforeSo, as part of our effort to begin decorating our house, and to stay true to our diy style, we went looking for second-hand furniture we could repurpose. We weren’t completely sure what we wanted, all we knew was that we desperately needed the storage the old ottoman provided, and that it didn’t need to be in great shape.  We were likely going to redo it after all.  Luckily at our last stop we found a cedar chest.  It was the perfect size and solid wood,  pretty helpful if you’re planning on painting.  Plus it was half off,  and anytime less money can come out of our pockets we’re pretty psyched.

Don’t be fooled though,  it needed some tender loving care.  We already had enough brown furniture in the living room and knew we needed a burst of color, so we decided give our new piece a paint job. We decided on turquoise.  It’s not your typical color choice for a living room,  but it does the job of brightening up the room.

After a quick stop at our local hardware store for some paint, we started sanding.  And then the paint went on.  I think it came out really well!  It’s a great addition to our living room,  it has plenty of storage for blankets and really brightens up room.

cedar chest after closed


Filed under Furniture