Monday, July 30, 2012

Faux Roman Blinds

In much of the house, I'm at the stage where I am adding those finishing touches to a room {well, ok, lets not count the few rooms where we have BIG projects planned for this fall};  Finishing touches such as art, pillows, and window treatments that add such warmth and interest into a space. 

Take the dining area, for instance. I just refinished my sideboard {which I am leaving as is until I manage to find the perfect table/chairs, and will then decide on whether to paint or not.  Truthfully, though, the wood is really growing on me}. The space is slowly coming together, but the windows still looked bare.

Here is a before, when we bought the home:

Great 'bones' such as a coffered ceiling, and a big, bay window.

The bay window in our dining area is a bit unusual.  You see, the windows actually look out into another room, the sunroom, not to outside.  I know it sounds like an addition gone wrong, but it was built this way purposefully.

The sunroom has wonderful wooden blinds, so the dining windows really don't need a window covering for the purpose of privacy or light control.  However, they were just....lacking, boring, blah.  They needed a little something to complete this room. 

Enter Roman blinds.  I loooove floor length curtain panels, but thought it would be too much for this small space.  Romans were the ideal answer. I originally thought of having them professionally sewn, but I knew that would cost a lot, and really, I can sew, so I should just suck it up and do it myself. 

Here's the result:

At first, I planned to make 'real' fully functioning blinds.  Then I procrastinated, and waited, and made excuses.  Finally, I decided to go Faux and just get it done already! Using Richella's great faux technique, I managed to whip these up in no time.  I highly recommend this method-quick, easy, and looks like fully functioning Roman blinds. She shows a no-sew method, although I did sew all the seams for my blinds, and added lining.

Remember my plans to make a slipcover for my Granny-wingback in the Santorini Sand fabric by Laura Ashley? Well, I was draping the fabric over the chair and then realized it wouldn't work. The darker upholstery fabric showed right through the new fabric. Drats!  I also knew that deep down I would have an absolute fit whenever my sticky-fingered munchkins sat in my newly linen slipcovered chair.  New plan for that chair is a full re-upholster in a neutral, kid friendly fabric. The 'old' chair fabric was perfect for the window treatments.

Anyhoo, I digress. Back to the Roman Blinds:

Don't they just finish this space? I love the fabric, although my original intent was to go a bit beyond my comfort zone and try a more contemporary graphic print.  Alas, this {chintz?} floral won my heart, and I resorted to the safety of my more traditional tastes.

I shall not bore you with the gruesome details of my mis-measurement for my panels in the breakfast nook that I had planned to make of the same fabric.  Let's just say tears were involved as I had sewn a panel, cut all the pieces, and found out I had mis-measured and now didn't have enough fabric.

The good news was that the price had dropped from $25.95/yard to $9.95/yard, so I ordered up some more and will get those panels done as soon as it arrives. There are only a few yards left, so if you love this fabric as much as I do, snap it up here.

Linking up to my Favorite Parties!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Refinishing my Sideboard: An exercise in uncertainty

Last year, when we moved into our new home, we bought this antique sideboard (was told it was a Welsh sideboard...anyone know?) for our dining room.

I had always intended on refinishing it, mainly because there was a lot of damage to the finish, and I wasn't too keen on the dark, thick, chipped stain.

Now I know that a purist would leave it as is, since it is an antique (again, was told from late 1800's but I have no way of confirming this, although it is constructed using square nails) but I wasn't loving the way it looked. Also, I don't think this is a valuable piece (at least we didn't pay much for it!).

I was unsure on the type of wood the sideboard was made of, since the old stain was so dark and thick. I spent days stripping off the old goo. This is not a job I enjoy...stinky, messy, not fun!


The stripper worked great, but smells a wee bit like vomit, which is rather unfortunate when you're working in the heat!

The wood ended up being oak (I think) and very grainy-not what I had hoped for.

Now I was really unsure what to do. Should I just paint it? Afterall, I do love painted furniture, and happen to have a few cans of chalk paint. On the other hand, I also love wood, particularly when an antique piece. Should I just get over my Oak snobbery?

I decided to apply 2 coats of Tung oil and live with it in place for a while.

I may still paint it (I'd likely leave the top stained wood), or the wood look may grow on me. We shall see!

I hope to one day replace my dining room table and chairs, so they aren't a factor in my decision to paint or leave well enough alone.

So, what say you????

Would you:

1. Leave it as is

2. Paint the bottom (likely a cream or warm grey colour which would fit in best with the surrounding decor) and leave the top wood

3. Stain the whole thing darker, but not paint it

4. Other suggestions?

I'm all ears!

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A 'New' Footstool for the Sunroom

I've had this base for a footstool (handed down to me by my Mother) for a few years now.

This was such a quick, easy project, that I don't know why I waited so long to get it done!

Here is the before:

And After:

I simply sanded down the old stain/varnish, and applied two coats of Tung Oil to the wood.

I love the tone of the wood, so I didn't want to stain or paint it.

Hubby cut out a thick piece of mdf to size, which I covered in several layers of quilt batting, and then this fabric {Santorini Sand, by Laura Ashley}.

I then glued on this sweet ribbon to trim it and finish it off.

I love it so much that I'm not sure I can bring myself to rest my tootsies on it; perhaps I'll just admire it from afar instead!

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Metamorphosis Monday