Whew! Who is already knee-deep in summer projects? We had a flat-bed load from Lowes delivered on Sunday which means work is happening around here. It’s made me realize how much I need to hurry up and post the progress we’ve already made so I can tell you what’s going on now. One of these days I’ll hopefully get the house tour static page updated too.

On that note, after much stalling I present to you the progress in the dining room. When we moved in we started with cream walls and no dining furniture.

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We quickly started collecting furniture. The hutch and chairs are from Craigslist. The table is a freebie from a friend who rescued it for us when some people he was helping move were going to toss it. It’s a little smaller than I would like in the long run but for right now it’s awesome and eventually I’ll probably put it outside when we have extra change for a permanent dining table, you know in like a decade when we finish our other projects. I plan to do a dark walnut stain on it and then a gray wash but it keeps getting pushed down the priority list.

We painted Behr “Grass Cloth” on the top half of the walls and Behr “Ultra Pure White” on the bottom.  The curtains are my go-to favorite white curtains from Ikea. They’re cheap, opaque, and will look nice in pretty much any room until we have extra money for fancy schmancy curtains.
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Then the chairs got a makeover.

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The painting was a yard sale find from one of our awesome neighbors. I was originally skeptical about it (I’m not really a big flowery person), but I realized it actually is a great size for our wall space and ties in really well with the grey/yellow/green/teal scheme so for $15 I decided to go with it. I have a DIY artwork planned for the other side of the window but it is on the back burner for now.

Eventually I’d like to do a damask stencil on the top half of the wall and add more molding to the bottom half to fancify it up but for now I’m just enjoying having a family dinner table!

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Bon Appetit!

 

I’m a bad blogger. We’ve actually done quite a few projects around Stoneybrooke in the past few months but I am constantly having an inner debate between waiting to post until “the final reveal” so as to not spoil the surprise of the end look, and posting piece by piece as we work at the pace of real life.  Since there are still a few more details to take care of before I post a photo of the dining room progress overall, I thought I’d show you the update to our dining room chairs. This is one of the easiest, albeit time-consuming projects ever.
Dining Chairs Before Green White Black Gray Grey

I picked up these bad boys on Craiglist for $5 a pop (that’s right… 8 chairs for $40!!!)  I was pretty stoked to say the least.  They had been sitting out in the rain for a few days before we picked them up so the screws and brackets were a little rusty and the clear coat was peeling up, but that wasn’t a big deal to me since were planning to take them apart.  Here’s a little play-by-play of the excitement.

Step 1: Remove the Nasty

Removing the old fabric and crusty foam was a long process. I recommend you do this step while catching up on your overloaded DVR with a bottle of wine.  I started pulling out each and every one of the old staples on the first couple of seats, but gave up after 2 seats. Some of the plywood was not in great condition because of water damage and pulling out the staples was pulling the plywood apart. Because I don’t plan on keeping these chairs forever, just for a few years until we’re done doing major updates to house and have more room in the budget for furniture, I wasn’t terribly concerned with the chairs being PERFECT.  You don’t see that side of the chair anyway so it’s not a huge deal. If you’re a perfectionist, then have at it… and then come over and do some of my projects for me! *hehe*

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I used my palm sander on the chairs as much as possible and then did some hand sanding for areas that were hard to get to.  I hate sanding as much, if not more than the next person, so I mainly did the sanding to get the flaky water damaged spots on the wood removed.  Then I used a deglosser on the rest of the wood to soften up the remaining varnish so the new paint would stick.

Step 2: Prime!

This is one of those time where I thought I should probably prime, decided to skip it because of the time crunch I was under, and totally regret it! Always go with what your gut tells you.

Step 3: Paint

I really, really, really wanted to spray paint these chairs, again because of the time crunch, but couldn’t find a color available in a spray that would whisper sweet nothings to me. So, I sucked it up and enlisted slave labor my friends to help.  We did two coats of Valspar Signature Interior Paint/Primer in “High Speed Steel,” waiting a full 24 hours before putting on the second coat. I haven’t used Valspar before but it had good coverage and drying time.  Because its been pretty cold around here and our only time was in the evenings, we had to paint in the basement.  This was not so much a problem for the Valspar since it’s a low VOC paint, but Montana was pretty sure I was going to kill us all when I did the clear coat down there. We’re all living still… just with a few less brain cells.

Dining Chairs Painted Gray Grey

Step 4: Protective Coat

For the top coat I used my favorite Polycrylic by Minewax, that comes either in a spray can or different sized cans for rolling/brushing.  I opted to splurge a little and buy the spray.  I was able to do 2 coats on 8 chairs with only a can and a half so I think it was well worth the few extra dollars to save easily 5 hours of painting time.  This was when I realized not priming (even though my paint had primer in it) was a mistake because some of the red was showing through.  After a few minutes of pouting and self loathing I decided that the lack of perfection on the chairs actually made them look more rustic which is kind of what I was going for anyway.  I was originally going to do two colors of paint on the chairs and rough up the edges to show the second color but the lack of time made me stick with one color.

minewax polycrylic

Step 5: Reupholstering Cushions

Supes easy.  Cut fabric and lay flat, set foam on top of fabric, set wood seat on top of foam, staple. Boom your done!

Ha. To quote Cher Horowitz, As if. Insert cursing the day the electric stapler was invented every few staples as it gets stuck and you have to completely unassemble the stapler to get the stuck staple out. Repeat x100. Step 5A: Go to hardware store and buy an old-fashioned non-electric heavy-duty stapler. (We haven’t done this step yet).  *If anyone has had an electric stapler that they actually like, please comment away.  We bought 2 staplers and they were both HORRIBLE even though they were $50! Not cool!

We used 2″ foam so that they’re nice and cushy and won’t be completely flat after a few years of use.

Green Eco Friendly Cushion Foam

For the fabric I chose a toile from Hancock Fabric which I got for 50% off at the Labor Day sale. Score!

My main tip for stapling is that when you start, staple first in the middle and push the cushion down a bit. If you don’t push the cushion down, then when you flip them right side up, the edge on the foam will be very square.  After you staple the first side, staple the opposite edge before the adjacent edges while making sure you pull the fabric tight. Wait to staple the corner sections until all the sides are done and tuck the fabric under itself like you’re wrapping a present. I gave myself an extra inch of fabric more than I needed to help me pull it tight. You can cut off the extra fabric when you’re done stapling.

how to reupholster dining cushions

I also decided to use a waterproofing spray on the cushions when we were done since the fabric I used was white. Hopefully it helps with spills, If not, I bought an extra yard or so of fabric so I can recover them if necessary.

Step 6: Reassemble chairs and brush your shoulders off. You so fancy.

Dining Chairs After Green White Black Gray Grey

 

And now for the Before and After…

Dining Chairs Before After Green White Black Gray Grey

Hopefully soon we’ll have our table refinished and then I can do a proper “progress” shoot of the dining room. Until then…

 

 

Won’t you come in?

Montana and I looked at houses online for about a year before we finally bought our house. About a month out we drove around neighborhoods a couple of weekends in a row and scoped out around 30 homes before finally picking a handful we wanted to tour with our agent. When we walked in our stoneybrooke house we immediately felt at home. The layout on the main level was a huge part of that as it has such a great natural flow.

When you walk through the front door, the kitchen is directly ahead.

I love the kitchen because its spacious, open to the family room (living room? seriously who can tell the difference between those two!) and has enough cupboards for all my dishes.

Things I’m not so much a fan of about the kitchen are that the cabinets are mostly laminate other than the doors,

the sink is ridiculously shallow so water gets everywhere when you wash larger dishes,

…and the counters are tile which are very hard to clean.  Also, the kitchen is painted this loooooveelyy rag rolled salmon. Ahh. Unfortunately the previous owners were quite the fans of rag rolling. It’s all over the upstairs too.

Directly right of the kitchen is the family room. I’m so so so excited that we don’t have to tear down a wall to have an open kitchen!!!! The kitchen always seems like the place where people gather at parties so it’s nice to have the living room as a kind of overfill spot. The living room will be Ben’s (the bun buns) area since he LOVES the carpet and it’s something we could tell he missed when we lived in the condo. At the condo he didn’t run around and play so much because he HATED the hardwood floors. Ben’s been exploring the main floor a lot since we moved in.

The family room has a door leading to the car port which got some immediate love when we moved in. Introducing our new Schlage locks!

Connected to the family room and to the right of the front door is the office! How cool is that! Did I mention how this house is SO much more than we hoped for?! Right now Montana’s desk is in there but the sellers left us two desks. One of the desks David is using in his room and the other we have in our room upstairs. Montana’s been dragging his chair up and down the stairs so he can study in quiet and not keep me up. We really need to get another office chair but one thing at a time!

Between the front door and the office is a powder room and Samson’s eating area. We had Samson’s food and water a few places for the first couple weeks we were here but settled on this hallway.  This nook is a just big enough space, it’s on the tile, and its out-of-the-way of where we’ll usually be walking. We had to get him an oversized place mat because Samson could beat any toddler in a messiest eater contest. Guaranteed.

Got to love those hollywood lights. Haha. Oh well…

To the left of the front door is our living room. We’re using all the furniture we had before for now until we get more settled on colors.

The only thing “new” in that room is the TV stand which I found on craiglist last week for $75! So exciting! Our old TV stand was only 46” long which was fine for our 40” TV, but we got a second TV earlier this year that is 60” and is WAY too big for our old TV stand. The “new” TV stand had doors in front of where we have the verizon box and the PS3 and 3 drawers but we removed them to make shelves. We’ll have to clean it up a little more still and I’m considering painting it eventually or maybe just staining it darker.   It’s in pretty good shape though for now so it’s not something that needs to get done right away.

Our dining room is still pretty bare but has our AWESOMEST (yes that is a word) Craigslist find ever. Someone posted this Ethan Allen China Hutch for only $150!!!!! AMAZING considering that similar sets go for $4-$6 thousand there! Yes, it’s from the 80’s but I think it’s gorgeous. This also might get painted but I haven’t decided yet. Part of me feels too bad because it’s in such good condition.

 

Well that’s it! There’s been lots going on around here so I haven’t been able to post as often as I hoped but maybe things will calm down soon? Yeah, probably not.

Who’s found something awesome on Craigslist lately?

****I looked up the difference between family and living room on Wikipedia and had to switch them around in my post. I had them backwards!