Posts Tagged Before and After
When Craigslist postings started popping up left and right for mid century furniture in Boise, it waas reason enough to investigate further.
What I found was Broadway Vintage - A refuge for unappreciated mid century and Danish Modern finds rescued from estate sales, thrift stores and – as one of the owners recently told me – even bought right off the front porch of houses.
Both inventory and patron were filled with the usual suspects; Eames and Wassily replicas, Arch lamps, Lane coffee tables and thick-framed, vintage-briefcase-toting hipsters eye balling console tables to house their collection of antique SLR cameras and Jesus and Mary Chain records. Since their arrival on the scene in winter of 2011 I’ve watched as their audience, knowledge and quality of pieces have risen.
I found this hiding in the basement in a room of unfinished pieces on one my first visits.
A few weeks later I came upon this ottoman at a thrift store.
Before I proceed it is imperative that I explain the tragedy of photo quality is thanks to the suicide of my camera.
But the show must go on.
I love a good chair. I love a good pattern. I love a good before/after challenge.
So when a client approached me with the task of outfitting her new living room – building off of just one sofa – It was clear that I had my work cut out for me.
To me, the immediately obvious set-up yearned for a fabulous pair of patterned wing-back chairs. Luckily for me, Tayler was all-too willing to hop on board with the funky train so very little convincing was necessary – although a bit of fabulous inspiration board-sharing was still compulsory.
With my mission clear, I set sail on the Craigslist seas in search of the perfect fixer-uppers and came upon these steal-of-a-deals and started to brainstorm upholstry….
Tayler was particularly fond of their somewhat squatty stature…
…(although the novelty of their petiteness waned slightly upon the sit-test performed by her not-so-petite but oh-so-tolerant husband. All 6″7 of him).
“Yuk!” Exclaimed a judgy Mamma Sally. “I don’t get it.” stated a perplexed Special Man Friend.
Don’t worry. Both statements were immediately retracted when I pulled these puppies out of my car three weeks later.
And all the elements fall into place….
So, to review:
My lovely friend Courtney of Fancy Pants ever-so-kindly handed off these little doozies to me last summer.
Shizzzzam! Semi-gloss black. Twine-wrapped accents.
Now for sale in SUITE POTATO at FORGET ME NOTS.
I think that’s the second time I’ve used a Rolling Stone song for an interior design pun. Ol’ Mr. Jagger is probably rolling in his grave right about now.
What? Still alive?
I kid you, Mick. I kid.
But seriously. Let’s talk about painted furniture. And I really mean painted furniture.
I first researched this option this past summer when I bought these fellas and was trying to think of a time and cost saving alternative to re-upholstery.
And then last week I spotted this before and after gem on Design Sponge.
Stella of Mon Petit Studio commandeered this fabulous sofa for $25 and after reading about the fabric painting situation online, she gave it a whirl.
(First she taped off the woodwork.)
Using a combination of black flat latex paint and Delta Ceramcoat Textile Medium (an additive keeps acrylic/latex paint flexible enough to use to paint a couch, without all of it just flaking off) she got to work with a paintbrush!
And voila! Is that incredible or is that incredible?
Apparently, it feels pretty damn good too.
Stella, girl. You got style. I’m going to copycat you. And you’re going to like it. Or your going to hate it. Or you’ll feel ambivalent about it.
Read the detailed how-to guide here.
Over and out.
Well friends, it’s complete. So let’s review.
Primed, painted, contemplated, contemplated, contemplated….
Then I painted again, and again. Then i took a sander to the edges like I was mad at it.
The base paint used was semi-gloss black and several top coats of black chalk paint were applied to the front of the dresser drawers.
Chalk paint is primed by smearing chalk across newly painted surface and then wiped clean with soap and water. Then let the chalking commence!
You see that? That’s attention to detail, baby. We’re talkin’ patterned lined drawers. Scented patterned lined drawers. You’re welcome.
Oh, and peek-a-boo. The sides were painted using a pale turquoise milk paint.
And there you have it.
…Aaaaand it was priming day in the Suite Potato quarters. After priming the dresser (yes , yes, it looks quite nice). While I waited for it to dry I shifted my attention to this delicious little pair of chairs I picked up last weekend.
Another solid wood find. They’ve got some serious potential. But the intricate plethora of nooks and crannies proved somewhat challenging on the priming front.
Admit it. They look cooler already.
I finished the day by sketching out my plan of attack for both projects and purchasing my color choices.
What have I decided, you ask? Shhh. It’s a secret.
I took my my hot new little friend, Mr. Random Orbital Sander, for a spin today with a fabulously ornate little dresser generously given to me by a friend.
Hibernating quietly in Shari’s storage, this little number was in some serious need of TLC.
The top and side inserts were covered in some sort of contact paper which had peeled off in parts on top and was interestingly layered and bubbled on the sides.
With many deep breaths, tedious picking and exacto-knife using, I got all those pesky little suckers off and was ready to sand my little heart out.
And sand, I did. All the live long day.
I was pleased to discover that almost the entire dresser was made of solid wood. This will be a killer resale piece.
And now, what to do, what to do…
Photo inspiration? You read my mind, friend.
I dig the idea of a cool flat red – and chalk paint effect? Winner. HGTV Blog.
Classic enough but still very “now”. Food and Home.
Antiqued green. Uh huh. Design Sponge.
Silhouettes. Clever and easy enough, no? Apartment Therapy.
Extreme awesomeness. The tree reveals exposed wood grain. Diving Meet.
Modern moody profile. Design Sponge.
An accent piece with an accent. I slay myself. Honey and Fitz.
Purple?! Get outta town! I’m constantly drawn to unexpected blasts of color in a room like this. Super Chyc.
One of my favorite color combos of as of late – charcoal/white/yellow. Apartment Therapy.
Is there a clear winner? Is it too soon to tell? Are these rhetorical questions?
Stay tuned to find out.
I was commissioned for a design project in a lovely North End home late last fall and was delighted to put my upholstery skills to good use with a fabulous chair challenge.
BEFORE: The owner (the lovely Taya) stumbled upon this incredible mid century gem at a garage sale. The wood was in perfect condition but the cushions were beyond dated so she had two pieces of foam cut in hopes of recovering it some day.
AFTER: Taya wanted a fun and relevant geometric print to use in her bedroom while staying in line with her color scheme (turquoise, browns, creams and blues). This cotton canvas fabric (found at Home Fabrics for $5.99 per yard – a STEAL-) was fun, durable and new without being over-the-top trendy.
She wasn’t thrilled with the resulting thickness of the foam so I took it to my favorite upholstery friends on Chinden and had both pieces trimmed.
I finished the chair with some funky pillows from the ever reliable TJ Maxx and the piece settled perfectly next to the window in Taya’s uber chic bedroom.
DONE AND DONE.
Yes, I know. Fancy seeing me here. Your sarcasm is palpable. Okay so my posts have been infrequent. But I’ve been a busy spud writing for the Fancy Pants blog, helping redesign and manage the website, all the while creating Suite Potato masterpieces. Consequentially the SP blog has suffered slightly. But I assure you, my posts will be worth your while once you see what I’ve been up to.
Perhaps you recall seeing these sad little saps which sulked for far too long in the corner of my cloffice.
While two of them were rescued at an earlier stage and transformed into these….
As the striped versions sold immediately after posting, I was tempted to replicate them with the remaining two. (When you find something that works, keep on doin’ it - ammi right?)
BUT, at this crucial stage in the Suite Potato endeavor, it is also important to vary my works in order to improve my skill and stay current with design trends. Ammi right?
Of course I’m right.
So one fateful evening when I failed to achieve sleepiness, I began my conquest to acknowledge that black and white are a win-win color scheme, but add a little bit of unexpected pizazz to the mix this time.
Unfortunately for my carpet, I am about as graceful and calculated as a newborn Labrador and upon breaking temporarily for a sip of water, I kicked over the paint bucket onto my bedroom floor.
Did I mention I had chosen to paint the chairs black again?
The solid wood chairs needed to be sanded prior to painting, as the gloss varnish would prevent the Painter’s Touch water-based paint from adhering properly.
While the black paint dried, I removed the hideous pastel floral brocade fabric that haunted the cushions.
With a pair of “cherry pickers”, I removed the upholstery staples that were used to fix the piping to the material. This is necessary, as leaving them on below the new fabric would ruin the clean lines.
The material itself was in good enough condition (no abrasions or cuts) so I left it when covering with my new fabric.
Because of the large repeat pattern, it is VERY IMPORTANT to be precise when matching one cushion to the other. If they’re not properly covered and the circles don’t mirror one another, it will simply look haphazard and everyone will hate you for ever and ever.
Now lets return to the paint job.
Since I had learned my lesson about painting in a space not conducive to easy cleanup, I endured the wintery chill of my patio and measured six inches and taped off the base of each leg. Just a little bit of frost bite. Nothing serious. Trial and error (and Special Man Friend) taught me that the adhesiveness of the tape can be stronger than the paint, so it is best to wear it down slightly by first running the tape along a strip of fabric or carpet. The tape will still stick nicely to the wood, but will prevent 100% contact with the new paint.
I enlisted the help of Special Man Friend to ensure yellow-tipped precision. I wish there was sound with this image so you could hear
the incessent whining that followed my unwelcome documentation all the wonderful compliments and praise he paid me. Such a sweet boy.
We primed the tips with a pure white base before proceeding with Krylon Acrylic Latex Enamel ‘Gloss Canary’.
Once the yellow dried, we removed the tape and re-aligned it under the yellow (using same adhesion trick as before) to finish off with a clean black line.
And now for the big picture…
It’s good, right? Okay good. It’s good.
Well they’ve just been posted for sale! Get ‘em before they’re gone!
…Meanwhile, I’ll be on my hands and knees scrubbing away at a miserably relentless black blob of paint that mimics my soul. Just kidding. Everything’s fine over here. Smiley winky face.
And then there was light! Really, really good looking light.
Lampshades are expensive. Like, it’s stupid how expensive they can be. We’re talkin’ upwards of $70. Per lampshade. You’re getting a flimsy, circular layer of paper or fabric that controls the amount of light that escapes from a lightbulb. $70. For a lampshade. Lamp not included. Just the shade. $70. I don’t know how much more explicit I can be but I hope you’re able to detect the incredulousness in my tone. Because let me tell you something, I am incredulous.
So. As I mentioned before, I wanted my little self some burlap lampshades. And I wasn’t about to fork over more money than I’m
currently, temporarily worth to get them.
So I made ‘em muh-self.
And I’m going to show you how.
Ready? Ok so here’s the scoop.
I was envisioning drum-shaped burlap shades, so I searched for deals online and found exactly what I was looking for (shape wise) at Shopko for $9.99 each. A steal!
Sidebar: I haven’t been to Shopko since the 7th grade when I realized I was blind as a bat and Daddy Potato took me to the optometrist to get my first pair of glasses. I remember the first thing I saw clearly (for the first time EVER) was the ‘home goods’ sign and aisle at the back of the store. I was utterly delighted. To be able to see. Not because of the home goods. They were sub-par. Although that is a bit serendipitous, wouldn’t you say?
…So after I returned from the place where dreams are made with my $10 lampshades, I was ready to get to work.
- Unroll wide, brown shipping paper so it’s flat on your work table. Or floor. I went for the floor. If you want to utilize your resources at home, (remember now, we’re trying to avoid racking up the $$$, ammi right?) then simply tape together printing paper large enough to cover your lampshade entirely, with room left over. Secure the corners and edges with masking tape so the paper does not roll up.
Now you’re ready to rumble.
Pay attention to this next part. I did not pay attention, the first time, and totally screwed it up and wasted half my fabric.
And sobbed for hours.Don’t you judge me. Besides, Buddha says;
there are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
Do you have chills? Does my wisdom give you chills?
- Alright so now you want to lay the lampshade on one edge of the paper. Use the shade’s seam as a guide to align the shade with the paper.
- Hold a marker or pen or pencil or your own blood in one hand and slowly roll the lampshade toward the opposite end of the paper, starting at the seam, following your pen along the paper as you roll. As the shade rolls, mark its edges until the shade makes a complete 360-degree turn. Mark the end of your pattern once you’ve reached the seam again.
Pardon the poor picture quality on half of these images. I used my phone while I was temporarily separated from my camera. But do you see the faint arched shape? Like a half-assed rainbow? That’s your lampshade template!
- Now cut that son-of-a-gun out.
- Match your template against your shade to make sure you haven’t screwed it up royally.
- Then lay your pattern over your fabric and trace it entirely and as precisely as possible.
Burlap was probably my most challenging fabric one could choose for such a project. It doesn’t keep its shape like other fabrics because of its loose weave.
Here’s another lovely little tid bit they don’t tell you when they screamed from the rooftops that burlap is the new ‘it’ material. Burlap smells terrible. Like sour grass.
Word to the wise: air that shiz out for a few days before bringing it indoors. You’ll thank me.
- Once you’ve cut your fabric, you can adhere it to your shade using your choice of adhesive. (Super Glue, Elmer’s, Rubber Cement, spray tack, hot glue gun all work well). Choose something that dries clear and evenly below your fabric. I used a hot glue gun.
- Once you’ve glued and positioned your fabric to the shade, tape the boarders on top and bottom to ensure the material doesn’t shift while the glue dries.
(I used pins because the fabric was too delicate for tape and the pin holes wouldn’t show through in end product).
- Once it’s dry, trim your fabric as close to the boarder as possible so it won’t peak through your boarder. You can also measure 1/2″ more fabric than needed on either end if you choose to wrap your fabric around to the back of the shade instead of using a boarder.
- Now wrap your boarder (I used natural colored ribbon) around the boarder to measure length and adhere with glue. Tape boarders again to prevent shifting until dry.
And what do you know. You’ve got yourself a pair of sweet Suite Potato burlap lampshades for under $15.00.
Oh. Jeez. Look at that. I’m incredulous again.