One Room Challenge: Living Room -Week Five

It's week number five here in the One Room Challenge. Next week is reveal time baby, so we are in the final stretch. This week found me in a trifecta of fun.

First, I set out to restore this arch lamp that I found on the street. That's right, it was a street find. It isn't an original Arco lamp by Castiglioni, but I still think it's pretty rad. My guess is that it was left out on the street and that no one else grabbed it because the stone base was chipped, its shade was very badly damaged and this thing weighs a ton.

I repaired the base and hacked a dome that I bought at Ikea. You can read about that repair job in more detail here.

Next, I started working on this gaffers tape painting that is intended to bring a punch of color and fun to the room.

Ever since I started following Donald Drawbertson on Instagram, I have been in love with gaffers tape. It is just so friggin fun to work with. It's fast, it's fun, it's easy. For those of you who follow this blog with regularity, I am still working on the tape job in the closet under my stairs (it has gotten a lot brighter since then).

Yowza. If it's too much for the living room, I'll put it somewhere else in the house. 

And third, I started to try to figure out my fabrics for this room. This might sound crazy to some, but I like to keep my textile choices relatively fluid. The top one is for the chairs that I profiled last week, so everything has to play off that. The pink plaid is going to be a throw for the white couch. The rest are for pillows that I still have to make. Not sure if I'll be able to incorporate that green plaid or not, but I liked it so much that I bought it anyway. Everything came from Mood (yes, the fabric store from Project Runway), except the exquisite red and purple lambswool, which came from Satin Moon here in the city (they have no web page but are an awesome source if you're local). 

I made a bunch of piping. The color is very off here. The fabric, which is wool, is a dark turquoisy green.

And I started the cushion covers.

Still lots to do in the one remaining week. If you like, here are weeks one, two, three, and four.

Do head on over to Calling It Home to see all the other participants here and here.


Street Find Arch Lamp

Sometime over the summer we found this arch lamp on our drive through the Outer Sunset on our way to the beach.
I'm not sure what its exact circa is, but I would guess, based on the original shade (which was orange plastic and sadly very damaged) that it is from the late 70's or 80's. It is a knock-off of the original Arco lamp by Achille Castiglioni from 1962. 

The base is stone which was chipped at the bottom. Thankfully the brass upright arms were in great shape and all the hardware was there.

The telescoping arch was in good shape although very dirty and slightly pitted in places.

The swiveling hardware that holds the dome was also still there and not broken.

At first I tried to clean and degrease it with Krud Kutter but eventually just sanded it down with 150 grit sand paper because it had a honed finish anyway.

Aside from the missing dome, this big chip was its biggest drawback.

I know from my furniture restoration days that patching stone isn't impossible. I used two part epoxy and colored it with pure white pigment that I bought from the art store. I thought I might add a slight bit of brown with some inks I have in my art supplies but skipped that in the end. I can add some veining to the epoxy with a brown sharpie later if I am feeling anal.

To create a dam which the epoxy could flow into, I clamped some acrylic blocks to the base. I wrapped them in wax paper to prevent them from gluing to the stone and epoxy. 

The stone has a beveled corner, so I stuck a triangular file also wrapped in wax paper to minimize the amount of epoxy I would need to shape later. 

 This is how it looked once the forms were removed.

Once it was fully cured (about 1/2 hour) I began to slowly shave away the excess epoxy. I was very careful with my chisel here so as to not trash it.

My patch is still a bit too white but I haven't even tried yet to camo it with some veining, which I will get to once this ORC is over.
I added a piece of cork to the bottom to save my floors but I may remove it because I think it is interfering with the balance of the thing.

The Brasa lamp at 29$ was a pretty good solution to the missing dome for now. I will still be on the lookout for a rounder, slightly smaller one to eventually put on there (hello ebay). I also rewired the whole thing with fresh electrical.

It's a pretty lamp, there are multiple places in my house where it would look good. It does weigh like 80 pounds.

Steet finds...I love them, would you ever grab something off the street?


One Room Challenge: Living Room -Week Four

Alright. I'm back for week four of Calling it Home's One Room Challenge. Two more weeks to go and my living room is going to be looking fantabulous. Week four has felt productive, even though my work output hasn't been off the charts. I've sorted a lot out in my mind though, so I'm feeling pretty on top of things.
This week I finished making the backrests for these chairs (I had the seat cushion made because it has a feather covered, foam core which I thought beyond my skill set). I have spent a fair amount of time contemplating the scale and material of these chairs because they have significant importance to me.

They belonged to my grandparents and I remember them so vividly from my childhood. This is me with my grandfather sitting in one of them when I was about four. They are Heywood Wakefield from their Ashcraft line, made in the fifties. I dug up these photos because I was trying to figure out what the original treatment and scale was for the cushions. I'm not even sure if this was the original upholstery because my grandparents would have had them for some time by the time this picture was taken.  

Curiously the back cushion is different on this one, where it is t-shaped. The other chair and the couch (which I also have) have a straight back cushion.

They had these super rad striped vinyl covers, I guess because they were in a sun room that was opened up in the summer. My grandmother had a good eye. Their house, which they built in 1942 and lived in for 60 years, was just perfect in its scale and layout.

Ok, enough with the nostalgia... How'd I do it? First I made a smaller scale box pillow out of plain cotton sheeting. I measured a zillion times to arrive at the proper size.

Then I took the existing backrest pillow and boldly cut it open in the back yard.

My method was to just grab a handful of feathers from one side and stuff it in the other. I worked on the trampoline because I'm a professional. 

I found it easier to keep a pretty big opening in the pillow for stuffing and to just hand sew it shut after. This opening took about ten minutes to close by hand.

I made the two cushions separately -the first one being a sort of prototype, so that in case the scale was wrong, I hadn't wasted too much time or material. The first cushion was perfect but of course it began raining on the day that I set out to make the second one. 

Oh. my. god. Working inside, I made such a mess.

While I was at it, I made some other pillow forms for which I will also be sewing covers. I have so many extra feathers! 

I am still waiting on the fabric I ordered for the cushions. It should arrive by week's end. I have a buttload of sewing to do, but I love to sew so everything should be cool. 

Next week we'll be in the home stretch. I've got some other things up my sleeve for that so be sure to tune in. If you need to catch up, here's week one, two and three.

To see more fabulous One Room Challenge action, click away here and here


One Room Challenge: Living Room -Week Three

So here we are at week three of the One Room Challenge. You know the rundown. One room, six weeks, lots of bloggers to check in on all hosted by Linda of Calling It Home. I'm kicking my living room into shape.

Anyhoo, in week one's post, I mentioned that I liked the vibe of my living room but that there were details in the room that bugged me that needed to be sorted out. What I mean by this is that there are elements in the room that are sloppy and a source of aggregation for me. Let me be more specific...
I absolutely adore this rug but this wrinkling business drives me nuts. We often eat in our living room and the large coffee table gets dragged back and forth quite a bit. This causes the rug to be pulled in weird ways which results in wrinkles (and is probably terrible for the rug).

I ordered a 100% wool rug pad to address this issue (right now there's nothing between the rug and floor). It is coming from the East coast and should arrive any day. I ordered wool because the synthetic ones off-gas and I'm not into that. I paid a little bit more for wool -$175 for a 12x14 but no tax and free shipping. It should feel great underfoot.

The second thing I wanted to address were the cushions on these chairs which are too big and don't look right to me anymore. How I ended up with inserts that are so poofy and ill fitting is sort of beyond me but they are so I'm using this ORC to fix this. 

So not only do the super-sized cushions look no bueno but also the fabric on them is super faded (hello southern exposure). Silly to make new covers on lame inserts, so I'm doing all of them over. I had the seat cushions made from an internet source with 5" foam wrapped in feathers/down (they've arrived and look fantastic). I am going to make the down backs myself by recycling the feathers from the existing cushions (gonna be messy and I will do a separate post about this process). I'm still waiting on my fabric to make the covers.

The third super sloppy element I'm fixing is this business. I made this couch topper a while ago as a way of making this couch a little more kid (specifically Kit) proof. Problem is it's not big enough and gets all rumpled and I'm sick of primping it. It is the wedgy of couch covers. How I'm going to deal with this is still TBD. Truth told, the couch cover is washable and pretty much anything short of indelible marker bleaches out so I could go with nothing and do more laundry or I can try a new system of covering the bottom cushions. We'll see. I'll use the old couch topper as a dog bed for Calvin.

I still have a long way to go on this room but I feel pretty satisfied about finally addressing these existing design flaws (good design should address form and function, IMO). Click away for weeks one and two. And head on over to Calling it Home to see the adventure of all the other projects here and here.

I can't be the only one who is bothered by a wrinkly rug, right? Let me know what bugs you in your home.


One Room Challenge: Living Room -Week Two

A common thread among participants in the One Room Challenge is that the whole thing pisses off their families and significant others to no end.

This is why... It usually requires that the crazy person doing the challenge trash their own home, often without any discernible rhyme or reason to those witnessing the carnage.

In my case, these are my destructive instruments of choice. 

This week I focused on the nitty gritty of this ORC. Paint prep. So that included removing hardware, sanding, patching the doggy scratches, de-glossing and taping. I totally get why a good paint job is expensive, it is super time consuming!

I've taken my last two ORCs in stride but for this one, I can already tell how screwed I am, in part because some of the work I need to tackle is being held up by waiting on a fabric delivery. OOOF.

The next few days will find me maniacally priming, painting and wall washing and hopefully some of my materials I need to get started on those chairs will arrive soon, because people...I aim to impress.

To get an overview of this project visit week one here.

Others do too, go check them out. You can find them all here and here over at Calling it Home. 


Customizing a Plunger

I know this is totally unnecessary and quite possibly stupid but it sure was fun.

First I primed with shellac based BIN because it dries so fast then I used some of the Montana Can I had left over from the my recent sidewalk house number project.

Proper etiquette would probably dictate that these be stored away. Unfortunately they get used like every other day. My toilets are lame.



One Room Challenge: Living Room -Week One

I'm back for my third go round at the One Room Challenge link up. For those of you who are new to this phenomenon, here's the deal: Hosted by Linda at Calling it Home, bloggers come out of the woodwork to transform one room into something fabulous, in six weeks. Everyone checks in each week to show their progress. It is great fun. Really. Never mind the blood, sweat and tears, people. My last two projects are here and here.

I am planning on kicking my living room into shape. 

Whereas I like the general vibe of my living room, I plan to do some fixes that have been bugging me for a while. Some involve fluffing, others are pesky details. 

First off, there is some nitty gritty that needs to be dealt with. This is what happens when your dog lets herself out as necessary, like fourteen thousand times a day. 

Both sets of triple doors need to be repainted. The walls need it too but I'll probably just clean them up because painting isn't really an option right now -huge room with no clear stopping points.

I really like all the furniture in this room, which I have acquired over time but I plan to change things up a bit to make it wear and look better. I'm aiming to sharpen things up a bit here, without losing the laid back vibe. So the transformational attempt will be a little less boheme, and a bit more staid and gentlemanly, without looking like a cliche (I always have to say that -no cane stands, riding boots or fake books).  

These chairs are in for a major overhaul. I want to return them to their original mid-century roots by changing out the scale of the cushions and toning down the fabric (goodbye shabby chic overstuffed puffiness!)

Here's my little analog master list of everything I plan to do. I will be doing this challenge in real time so I can't wait to get started.

Make sure to check out all the linking participant here. I can't tell you how many new blogs I've found to stalk from the ORC!