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Quick-change before and after: Reused *shabby chic* chair

12 Apr

I was digging around in the garage (which is about all you can do in my garage… oy vey), and liberated this old chair that I’d, quit frankly, completely forgotten about.  I decided it would make a good little piece for my oldest daughter’s room… after a little TLC, of course.

I’ve had this chair for ages – maybe 8 years or so.  I originally purchased it at the Fairfax H.S. Flea Market, on Melrose & Fairfax in Los Angeles.  Ahhh… I sure do miss that flea market.  Loads of great stuff… Sigh… But I digress…….

It’s been re-covered I-don’t-know-how-many times.  And because I’m fairly lazy, I’ve never removed a single upholstery layer.  One day someone will find it and have a complete history on the *evolution of a chair* lol….

Anyway, it started out looking like this:

It got nekkid so it could get a little fresh paint (to get rid of the chipped/sanded edges. Also, I wanted a flat finish).  I used some flat white paint that was just *chillin* in the hall closet (don’t act like you don’t have cans of paint in almost every color layin’ around because I know you do…):

I found some great linen fabric with a large purple pattern, perfect for my daughter’s room, at Calico Corners.  Yeah, I know: expensive.  But I’m really limited here in Nashville for fabric of any kind, especially of the bargain variety – I sure do miss the garment district Downtown LA  😦

Anyway, I only needed one yard, so I parted with my $17 dollars plus tax. – and this was the marked-down price, all in the name of great home decor.  I actually still have enough left over to make a nice pillow for her daybed as well.  Which I’m sure I’ll get to… Eventually….

SO, with a newly covered seat and fresh paint…. ta-dah:

It took me about 25 minutes.  Including painting the chair.  Of course, I had to let the paint dry, in between, but that’s about the amount of time I spent “hands on” with this.  It was well worth it, and now her friends will have a place to sit in her room above the sea of clothes lol… Teenagers……..

One more time:





Tackled a chair quick change recently?  Share it below!

xx and oo’s





DIY Linen jewelry pin-board

11 Apr

I’ve been m.i.a. over the past week because I’ve been trying to get a few projects finished around here.  You know, projects that I was interested in for about 10 minutes, projects that have been going on so long I have to take frequent brakes to keep from going insane (the basement), projects I was *this close* to finishing when I ran out of some item I needed to get the job done and couldn’t find exactly what I needed… anywhere… to match what I was already using (GRRRRR).

My linen covered jewelry pin-board falls in the latter category…

This is a super-duper easy project to do, you could do it with a spare hour (or less!) if you have all of the materials.  Also, it is really nothing more than an upholstered message board, I’ve just left off the crisscrossed ribbon, and replaced tacks with extra-long pink pearl pins ~ corsage pins work awesome, too ~ you can find either at your local fabric or craft store.

I started with a once awesome, but now fruit punch stained cream colored linen table cloth (the fruit punch stain has been circled so you can see it in all of it’s glory…).  I love repurposing things, so I was happy to have this as a starting point.

Found a perfect piece of 3/4″ plywood in the garage (it’s pretty big!) and some batting left over from a previous project (I had this laying around, but you could use mdf, homasote – which is good for pinning, or thinner plywood)

I Liberated some cork tiles that I’d bought years ago intending on using them for something else (I had to purchase one additional pack of cork tiles due to the size of the board I was using. You can also buy cork in rolls)

Other items I used: Scotch brand Super 77 spray adhesive (love this stuff), cream colored single fold bias tape, silver *tortoise shell* upholstery tacks, staple gun/10mm staples, craft paper and masking tape (to finish the back nicely) and flush-mount wall hooks.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Lay out the cork tiles (or cork roll) on the plywood. Use the spray adhesive (lightly) to stick the cork to the board (you’ll want to do this so you can pick it up/move it around to staple on the batting), trimming the cork to size

2) Lay batting over the cork.  Staple batting to the plywood all around the outside edge (you can wrap it all the way around to the back, but this will make the back fluffier as you lay the fabric on top, so keep that in mind if you are going to use flush mount brackets – the thickness of your fabric/batting may keep your brackets from reaching the brackets on the wall).

3) Lay fabric on top of batting/cork/plywood. wrap around the back and staple.  I was very happy to see that the board was the perfect size to miss that fruit-punch stain (in the circle) lol…

4) Flip face down and roll out craft paper on the back.  Use the spray adhesive to lightly adhere the paper to the back.  Use masking tape all around the perimeter of the paper to create a clean finished back.  This isn’t necessary, of course, but it only takes a minute.  The Dollar Tree sells 3M brown craft/post paper rolls for $1. (I buy several at a time, use them for wrapping paper, as a “drop cloth”/surface protector for small paint projects, etc.)

5) Using upholstery tacks, tack bias tape all around the edges (you could also skip the bias tape and just use the tacks.  Or you could skip this step altogether).  You’ll want to make sure that your tacks are evenly spaced so using something of desired size as a *spacer* put it in between tacks and tap tacks in only half way (this will allow you to measure from shank to shank, making your spaces more even).  Once you have an entire line of “half-in”, evenly spaced tacks, go back and tap them all in.  Please note my very fancy spacer…

6) Install brackets on both the wall and back of the pin-board if you are going to hang it on the wall.  I used flush mount brackets and careful measuring was essential.

7) Check for level

(okay, yeah, I added that because, I mean, I had to pat myself on the back for that one lol….)

…. And that’s it!

I went from this mess:

To this (with room to grow!)  Peep the old school green bathroom tiles and that 1968 radiant floor heat controller (the heat still works, by the way, but I don’t use it. I can’t imagine it’s *energy star approved* haha).  Yeah, you know you’re jealous lol…

I love these pink pearlized pins 🙂

What I learned:

i) Make sure you measure accurately to determine how many upholstery tacks you need.  I ran out 4/5 of the way through and couldn’t find the same tacks for miles!  I drove all over town (and all over the next town, too!) and finally found some at my local Ace Hardware (on Harding Pike in West Meade ~ you guys rock!).  Now I know to go there first lol, but that actually set me back a couple of days…

ii) Flush mount picture hangers require absolute accuracy.  When I put the hanger on the back of the pin board I was a nano-hair off (yes, “nano-hair” is a proper measurement!) and I spent ages up on a ladder with an incredibly heavy, cumbersome board trying to hang it while not being able to see the mounting hardware.  I was sweating – and cursing – and scratching up the wall for 10 minutes when I finally decided to re-measure and discovered I was off by 2 centimeters.  2 CENTIMETERS.  I had to remove and re-attach the bracket with all of the measuring, leveling, blah blah blah…  Very annoying…

iii) This project would work GREAT in a walk in closet lol.  Unfortunately, I don’t have one of those.  It would also work well over a dresser or dressing table, but my tv’s over the dresser and I don’t have space for a dressing table.  If you’re esthetically… um… affected… like I am – and I know you are – having all of that jewelry hanging around in a space as small as my bathroom happens to be, just might make you a little crazy.  I’m still trying to get used to it.  I LOVE being able to grab my jewelry and go (it actually saves me time when getting ready), and I’m wearing stuff now that I had forgotten about!  But with all my fab (!) green tile I had managed to create a calming space using all cream *everything else* and the jewelry adds texture and color that I guess I hadn’t really considered.

xx and oo’s

Re-use, recycle: Our former living room lives on

30 Mar

It’s a rainy day here in Nashville, and after a long, colder than usual winter, I can’t help but think about California.  And oftentimes when I think about California, I think of the home we left behind there.

I had a love/hate relationship with that house.

Loved it because it really was beautiful, especially that view from the back yard!  We dreamed dreams of growing old in that house, having friends over for beers and bbqs, we talked about our kids having their friends over for swimming in the summer, and all the space we had there for lots of family visits.  So many wonderful thoughts and memories…

Hated it because it’s where our family lost the most.  Hated it because all of our dreams shriveled up and blew away while living in that house.  Hated it because my husband died while trying to get home to us in that house.  So much sorrow.  So much negativity and pain…

This rainy afternoon while looking at pictures on my computer, I came across photos of that house.  A friend of mine graciously  took photos of the house when I listed it for sale, so there are quite a few.  When I came across some pics of the living room, the thought occurred to me that although the living room in the new house is very different than the old house, all of the items from the old room live on – they’ve all been given a fresh role, or even completely reinvented and used in different places in the new house.  I kept staring at the picture of the old living room, pondering “where are they now”, trying to recall where all of those items that danced together nicely in our former home, are being used now.  And this is what I noted (you can click the pic to enlarge):

Photo: Jewell Green


Photo: Jewell Green



So there you have it.  I guess my furniture and accessories really are a reflection of me: all being given a second chance in a new place, learning to get along in their new surroundings.  We’re all experiencing a little… Evolution….

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this is what the living room looks like in our new house in Nashville.  It’s totally still a *work in progress* (I need to re-do those wing chairs, do something about that cabinet under the dining area window, I’d love to add some more seating, etc., etc…).  Although my style has definitely changed, as you can see I don’t tend to stray too far from beige lol (I love my calming neutrals!) and I’m happy to mix expensive with bargain basement in my home as easily as I will rock a Target blouse and a pair of Jimmy Choo’s….


Yes, that’s an Oly Studio “Pipa” bowl chandelier over the dining table – it’s one of my prized possessions 🙂  It was a big investment… well, for me… for a dang light lol, but I haven’t regretted it for a minute (I bought it from Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors here in Nashville).  The fittings were originally shiny brass though, so I sprayed them an oil rubbed bronze color to make it more in keeping with my decor.  The sofa is the Liam” by Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams.  I’ve paired it with a coffee table that is reminiscent of the Oly “Meri” table – only mine came from Z-Gallerie.  It was on clearance for $300, the manager agreed to knock 50% off THAT price.  Yep, I *stole* it for $150, and it’s smaller in scale, which I needed to fit the space.

The mirror and buffet were in the dining room at the old house, but this house has a smaller dining space than the last, so they have a new home in the living room. I think they work great there!  I bought the buffet at “Out of The Closet” in L.A. for $100.  When I got it home I saw that it was Drexel Heritage.  I love it when that happens!  I painted it white, and when we moved here I added those cool drapery tassels from West Elm – Voila!  The lamps, étagère and horse came from Home Goods (man, I LOVE that place!).  The horse was originally all one color – very light gray concrete.  I painted it to look like a vintage piece.  I broke the door off that big lantern, so I filled it with crystal and mercury glass taper holders with fab metallic tapers and still use it anyway!  Though, someone should probably climb in that picture and straighten up the candle that’s fallen over :-/

Anyway…  Until next time, you can find me in the basement slappin paint on somethin’ lol…

xx and oo’s




P.S.: Here’s that view I mentioned earlier from the back yard of the old house.  Ooh, and you can check out a snippet of my good friend Jewell Green’s work on her website:

Photo: Jewell Green


Photo: Jewell Green


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