A New Life for an Old Rug

kilim upholstery diy

If you’re here, you probably have a pretty similar design esthetic to me and would agree that the rug pictured above is wonderful. Look at those shapes!  Those colors! The perfectly worn condition! It looks like you could just plop it in a chic white washed California ranch with rustic minimal decor and you’ve got a winner! While that is definitely what it might look like to an outsider.  To me, it started fairly differently.

This is the story of an old rug and a series of events that lead to it being in my house and lead even further to it being the perfect candidate for my next project. You know when really great things happen just by chance?  Well that is the story of this rug.   [Read more…]


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Recovered Cane Chair Reveal

covered cane chairs

pair of cane chairs before

This project has been a long time coming.  You guys remember when I found this pair of cane chairs in the trash of a neighbor? Right? I’m not usually the trash picking sort (this was a first for me) but I really couldn’t resist.  I drove by them once, drove all of the way home, then couldn’t stop thinking about them, so I turned around and picked them up!  The cane wrap was unraveling at the joints, the seats were blown out, and they’re original finish was mostly chipped off. But boy, did they clean up nicely!

There were so many potential options for these guys.  Maybe they could be french country? Or maybe with some red lacquer they could be asian inspired kitchy? I wanted the chairs to be chic and modern, but still fun.  I had decided on  painting the frames of the chairs gold, and wanted a simple black and white fabric to mesh well with the navy blue entryway.  I used Design Master Brilliant Gold Spray Paint
to paint the frame and it turned out just as good as I’d hoped.  To prevent chipping when using spray paint, I always use a spray paint primer as well.

I was trying to pick a fabric to cover the chairs with, but when the fabrics chosen weren’t in stock, I had to hand make the fabric myself, and posted a step by step of the fabric in this post.

pom pom fabric

Pom fabric tutorial

pom fabric


upholstered cane chair

It’s a pretty simple project at it’s core – paint a chair and recover it – but so much more went into this project.  I wanted the chair to convey a certain cross between formal and fun.  I think I accomplished just that!

Of course it’s hard to ignore the navy blue walls… but more to come on that soon!  In the meantime, what do you guys think of the finished chair?  A good creation out of a dumpster dive?

Silver & Gold for the Cane Chair

Cane Chair Fabric

So, guys, I have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is, I finally tallied the results of your votes for which fabric I should use on the pair of cane chairs I found along the side of the road.  The image above is clearly a give-a-way that the winner was the black and silver tribal pattern.

The bad news is, in person, the fabric is totally blue cast.  I thought that the ground color was white (or cream) in the online photo, but it’s a very muddy powdery silver-blue.  Still, in the photo I took above, it’s hard to see it, but it’s there…. lurking beneath the darker grey and black pattern.  Don’t fret, however… I have a plan.  [Read more…]

Handmade Nailhead Upholstered Headboard

The final layer of my master bedroom project is complete!  I finished my headboard this weekend, and I am so excited about how it turned out.  After the initial planning, measuring, and cutting of the base wood, the upholstery went really fast.  And if you’re curious about using nailhead trim, use it.  I’ve done traditional nailheads on a project before, and it was painfully tedious.  Nailhead trim, however, was actually really fun to apply.


Whenever I have a vision like the layering of shelf, headboard, side table in my mind, I’m always just a little worried that I’ll work really hard on one of the pieces of the puzzle and then not like the way it fits in.  The entire time I’m covering and hammering there was about 5% of me that was worried it just wouldn’t look right in the room.

I’m happy to say that not only do I love the finished product itself, but I love it in the room as well.  To see more of the actual headboard creation process, keep reading!

[Read more…]

Hidden Treasures: Craigslist Antique Settee

This month’s Craigslist find is a beautiful antique settee!  I have also been working on my foyer and knew that I needed something petite for the entry, but also something unique.  You know my man Craig came through, once again!  I had been eyeing this bench for a while, unsure about the design on the back.  Even though it was listed at $200, I offered $125 and brought this baby on home.

My original intent was to paint it (gasp!) because I really liked the shape, and because I thought it would coordinate nicely with my dining room chairs, which Erin posted about here!  However, when I saw the inlaid pearl and delicate cut detail in the back, I started to seriously fret.

But, I knew I wanted it white, so I sprayed a tiny spot on the leg to force myself to tackle it later.  Big mistake.  The more I looked at it, the more I loved it in its original glory.  I could not bring myself to paint over such intricate detail.  So, an hour of the finest grit sandpaper applied to the blunder, and it’s all better.  Well, almost all better.  I just told myself it has more character now.  Lesson learned!

The original fabric didn’t suit my décor, so I chose a scrap piece of ivory matelasse from an old upholstery job from many years ago that I still loved.  While I’m no professional, I tackled the recovering myself!  Inside I found original horse hair.  Because that freaked me out a bit and I didn’t want to rock the boat too much, I left the “stuffings” as-is for now.  Perhaps I’ll hire Erin to reconfigure the seat support for me one day later…

Husband has been after me to finish the double piping trim…  I just mastered single piping, but the double piping just seems a bit more intimidating…!  But, I will conquer!  And show you the magnificently completed product next month… maybe.


Have a fantastic Wednesday!  Has anyone else tackled upholstery at home?