Monday, August 31, 2009
I had been seeking a slipper chair style and this filled the bill perfectly! Don't you just LOVE it?
Let me show you the wonderful upholstery up close. Oh wait, the picture below is of Mr. Decor and I ripping off the upholstery.
Tip: The couple that tears apart furniture together can often avoid the high fees associated with marriage counseling. :)
Ah, much better. Mr. Decor reinforced the chair with a bit of glue and some clamps. We each took a turn sanding the chair.
After a good wipe down I then primered and painted the chair frame white and took the frame to my favorite upholstery shop.
I found the luscious silver cotton velvet at SAS fabric for $5.00 a yard. I think the chair will look lovely against the lavender walls.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Time and Research.
They are your two biggest resource tools. You have to be patient and you have to work to find the best deal. The bathroom and kitchen cabinets were purchased for a ridiculously low price from Costco Home which is going out of business. Don't think for one minute that this was sub par material. They were top of the line cabinets. You can often find great cabinets very inexpensively at Habitat for Humanity thrift shops, Goodwill, Craiglist, Ebay and if they are discontinuing a style, the big box stores will discount deeply.
The biggest portion of the budget was spent on prepping and beautifying the space. One of my design "rules" is to never put a pretty band aid on a gaping wound. You need to begin with a clean fresh space to ensure that the end results will shine. The cost for the flooring, scraping the popcorn ceiling, cabinets, appliances, painting and lighting came out of the budget first. My best advice is to ask for a discount if you are buying a large amount of anything. You most often will get it.
The next biggest piece of the budget was furniture. Again, I selected furnishings that were well made and would hold up over a long period of time with extreme use. Because this is a commercial space all of the furniture and its upholstery had to meet U.S. flammability standards. It is costly to treat fabric to meet the standards and that is why the fabric is often more expensive. Since I was buying numerous pieces I asked for and received discounts on my purchases. In addition, I waited until Memorial Day weekend to order the furniture. Stores typically run sales and specials during holidays. By waiting, I received additional bonuses such as deeper discounts and free delivery. Timing is everything!
Resusing existing pieces. How I differ from some other designers is that I will reuse existing pieces if they are in good condition (or can be salvaged) and will work well in the space. This of course often results in the piece getting a makeover via paint, upholstery or just thinking outside the box and coming up with a new way to use it.
Case in point: The artwork that I found originally in the clubhouse was all modern in feel. Many of the pieces were signed works.
Because the styling was timeless, the color palette worked and the paintings themselves were in good condition it made sense to use the art in the new space thereby saving us a substantial bit of money.
We also saved money by repainting the glass table bases.
With all the key elements in place we were left with a $200 budget for accessories~ for a 4,000 square foot space. Yeah, I know! Even Homegoods isn't even that good. This was going to take some really creative thinking. My associate Arlynn found this vase at a garage sale for 25 cents. It came with a few flowering branches. But there was one problem with the bottom of the vase.
I took a piece of 35 cent felt and glued it to the bottom.
I then added a small piece of foam to the inside and added a few twigs to the yellow branches which resulted in a pretty arrangement that cost less than $1.00.
As with all redesigns, when I am getting inexpensively creative I always ask the homeowner or in this case, the board of directors, if they are ok if the space is decorated with flea market finds and such. Some people are not sure until they see the end result. I understand as they want to make sure it looks good. But seeing is always believing.
Here is an example of two metal plant holders that were found in a box at a garage sale. Price? Free. I peeled off the bottom labels then sanded and cleaned the surfaces. It didn't really matter what my base coat was since I was just trying to bring them into the same color family. I took a can of burgundy spray paint that I had on hand and thought I would never use. But, it was perfect for this job. I finished the last coat with a lovely metallic bronze and no one was the wiser.
These topiaries were also in a free box. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yep, we just need a hot glue gun and some moss.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I've been teasing you for three months with hints of the clubhouse condo I have been remodeling. Guess what? It's done! Yippppeeee~ I worked with two great gals: Mary Wild was the general contractor and Arlynn Satz (seated) was my partner on this huge job. We almost had to much fun.
In a previous post I had written about the color scheme I had selected. Here are the complete "before and after" photo's. I am hoping you will be able to tell the difference. :)
We reused the glass tables by painting them a metallic bronze which unfortunately does not show up in the photo's.
Bye bye smoky mirrors...
Hello fresh color!
All the wood headers were dark, dated and overbearing.
Look at what simply painting them to match the trim did! They are barely noticeable now.
Another sitting room.
Now a workout room.
A much better use of the space.
The mini kitchen area.
I would actually use this space now.
All of the dated appliances were on their last legs.
The useless hood was replaced with a microwave.
The Main Room
The existing artwork was reused since the signed modern pieces still looked fresh 30 years later.
All the popcorn ceilings were scrapped bare and the wood "beams" taken down.
Bright and fresh!
In this job no walls were knocked down yet it seems like a brand new space. The dark and stained carpeting was replaced with easy care tile.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I slide the closet doors open. On the floor sits a Barbie case topped by a HCHS cheer leading trophy. This is fitting since I am sure that Barbie was somewhat responsible in her decision to try out for the cheer leading squad. Right above it, swaying ever so slightly, is her graduation gown. The yellow satin honor society sash sits slightly off center and as I straighten it I wonder why it should matter. My eyes move to the upper shelves. I spy a small navy chest and my heart catches in my throat. I have to stop for awhile. I come back and gingerly set the chest down on the floor. I know what it contains… her whole childhood. I unlatch the brass lock and slowly push the trunk open. Samantha’s blue eyes are shining and my sad smile is no match to her bright happy grin. An apron and one velvet shoe are missing from her ensemble. I begin to dig through the chest seeking… Along the way I find the green velvet Christmas dress that technically belonged to Molly but was to pretty not to share. There is also Felicity’s Colonial ball gown which was a much coveted and cherished birthday gift. Each outfit brings to mind the special occasion that it marked. It is almost too much for me to bear. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was wrapping up the wee saddle shoes that celebrated her being asked to the sixth grade sock hop? I close the lid and enter the closet. I slide slowly down the back wall and shut the doors in front of me to create a small marshmallow cocoon of sorts. I know that these are the things a girl must leave behind on her journey to become a woman. Yet there is one thing that remains here that I wish I could just box up and drop off at the Goodwill. It is her mother’s broken heart.