So driving home from the grocery store, I saw something. On the side of the road behind a sign that read “FREE” was a sad rustic bench with two trash bags hanging from the legs. The bags held four large square cushions wrapped in old sheets and safety pinned. I stopped to take a look. It obviously needed some TLC, but I really wanted a bench for our front porch to make it a little more welcoming. The price was right, it would just take some elbow grease. I took it home, stripped it, sanded it, stained it to match the front door, and conditioned & cleaned the leather. Then I found some outdoor fabric from FabricGuru, reshaped the cushions and sewed new covers. Unfortunately, this was one of those projects that I jumped into without taking before pics; however, I hope you like the result.
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After tackling the bedroom chair, I figured I’d give something bigger a try. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to make our living room a bit more homey and cozy and “us”; but the possibility of going out and buying an entire furniture set was out of the question. Plus, I prefer a more eclectic look, not so matchy-matchy. I want where we live to reflect us and invite people in to stay awhile. Kyle and I are many things, but matchy-matchy we are not.
At the moment we have a couch and loveseat. The couch we love, but the loveseat I’ve loathed for a while. I feel like unless you only invite newlyweds over, it seldom gets used to seat two people. So my plan (because Kyle needs to know that I DO have a plan) is to replace the loveseat with 2 chairs. I found the first of the replacements at a garage sale for $20.
It was perfect! or would be. It was just big enough to hold me and Kade together and would be a great story time chair. Plus it was comfy and spun around, great for being on the edge of the living room that opens into the dining room. I just kept my fingers crossed that once the oily blue fabric and mounds of cat hair were removed, it would be a seat someone would want to sink into.
So far the only experience I had reupholstering furniture was stapling a rectangle of fabric to a wood frame. I really had no idea what I was getting into. I started taking it apart from the bottom and worked my way up, saving every scrap of fabric to use as a pattern and taking lots of pictures, so I would know how it all fit back together. When I uncovered the tac strips and fabric clamps (aka Jaws of Death), my confidence started to wane – but there was no turning back.
Finally, the dissection was over. After cleaning up from the bloody mess, it was time for the fun – new fabric. I found what I wanted at FabricGuru, a great place for inexpensive upholstery fabric. I was a little leery of buying fabric without touching it, but they gave an accurate description and delivered a beautiful chocolate chenille. The cushions took me about 2 hours each. Not because they were incredibly difficult, but because prior to this, the most sewing I had done in my adult life was sewing a basket lining for Kade’s nursery. And that was only under the watchful eye of my sister (who actually had sewn the other 3 and FORCED me to sew the last one. Thanks Sis!) I estimated that putting the chair back together would only take a few hours, since I “knew what I was doing” after taking it apart only a few days before. In some cases, seeing the glass half-full is not appropriate. SEVEN hours later though, I was rewarded with this.
My living room transformation was underway.
A friend recently told me about the Alameda Flea Market and her amazing finds, so a few of us decided to load into the Jeep (the vehicle with the most cargo room) and make the trek. I was in the process of a bedroom redo and was keeping my fingers crossed that I would find some great accessories. It turned out even better – I found a chair! Now granted, it was dirty and a little very scuffed up and smelled a bit, but I thought it had good bones. I’m afraid when I unloaded it though, Kyle was not quite able to visualize the potential of this little treasure.
A habit I am trying to break, is getting so excited about starting the project that I forget to take BEFORE photos. As I’m sure you can imagine, the canvas strips were woven together to form the back and seat and the sun fading is what caused the zebra striping around the wood.
My family owns an antique shop and my dad has refinished furniture since he was about 15, so I immediately called him up for some tips. He was excited that I was excited and gave me some techniques for stripping and sanding. The sign below has been hanging in his workshop for years.
Luckily there wasn’t much to repair, and once I got the stain color I was looking for (a nice dark ebony), things moved along quickly. Next I needed some fabric for the seat. Originally, I thought a cow hide would be heavenly, but after I realized that would cost about 4-6x the chair itself, I opted for this textured creamy weave for a mere $20.
Even Kyle was pleased (and surprised) at the result.
Here it is in our bedroom. Because I hate being cold and love all throws, I draped a chocolate afghan over the edge and added a pop of bright orange to tie in with our duvet.
Om nom nom… My darling boy on our newly decorated fall porch. What can I say, he loves the mini-pumpkins. After giving my flea market find a new finish, I decided to use it as a pumpkin stand and save the plants for spring.