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!


Door Stop Prototype

I've been thinking for some time now about a bunch of products I'd like to make in limited runs to sell either on Etsy or on my own site. One of these is a sand filled door stop.

I made this prototype today. Mostly I was trying to get a sense for size, construction method, and how the sand will work as a filler. I  will most likely use hand dyed canvas for the real ones but used this heavy fabric today because its plaid pattern makes for easy templating.

Basically, I made a big cube. 

The construction method is just like a box cushion pillow. I found a great youtube tutorial here which explains very well how to handle and make sharp looking corners.

I know this sounds stupid, but I've grown to realize over time that having decent sewing tools (mostly good rulers, markers and scissors) makes a huge difference in how a project unfolds, and also thank goodness for youtube because almost any sewing dilemma can be answered there.

 I went with 5 inches square -which I now realize is a bit too big.

The whole thing gets sewn inside out so I needed to leave about a 2 inch gap for turning it right side out and for adding the sand.

It took all that sand -a half gallon, which I got at Ocean Beach. I hand sewed it shut after filling.

I like the idea of a soft but heavy door stop so that it can be moved as needed with one's foot without worrying about scraping the door or floor. This guy is pretty heavy but in a nice sort of way.

I'm kind of enamored with this big daddy but I'm going to try to go down one inch to four inches square and see how that looks and obvs check out how the canvas works.


Spray Painted Sidewalk Street Numbers

Remember way back when, when I didn't have any door numbers and was doing chalk house number mock-ups on my sidewalk for an eventual design in paint?

Well I finally got around to that. I did love the organic nature of the chalk and they were fun to make but keeping up with them was a hassle and then we'd have no number identifying the house.

This was a multi-step process that was made possible and exponentially easier by a laser-cut stencil that my sister helped me make. 

We designed the graphic in Adobe Illustrator and then she plugged it into her laser cutter at work -that's why this thing is so friggin pro-fesh-on-al...She did all the work! 

This is what a laser cutter actually looks like in action. My sister took this video when Ethan was visit NYC last summer (I told you I've been sitting on this project for a long time!!) Talk about aunty extraodinaire, btw. 

Choosing a good color combo was excruciating.  It took several samples to get it right. The trick was to find something that popped but didn't clash with the house trim. For paint, I used Montana Black instead of a hardware store brand for a couple of reasons. First, there are obviously many, many more colors to choose from and secondly, it comes in a very low luster sheen (it's flat but not chalky looking like a hardware store brand flat spray paint). I wanted this project to look really good and cohesive with the house -I mean, I'm spray painting the sidewalk in front of my house... that could go really wrong in a hurry. A glossy paint, in the wrong colors could look very kindergarten in a bad, bad sort of way.

Montana cans cost about 9$ a can at my local art store, btw. So, about 2 times as much as Rustoleum, for example, but well worth it.

Once I chose my color combo, I had to figure out how to get this 3-part stencil to logistically work. I found and marked (from edge to edge) the center lines of each stencil and made a corresponding mark on the sidewalk. This was the easiest way to take any guesswork out of laying the stencils, especially because the one with the numbers was a complete blind lay down. 

In a spot that I knew would be covered with the final design, I tested to see how clean the edge would be on the fairly rough sidewalk. I did this with BIN 1-2-3 primer, because I thought it would be prudent to do a base coat anyway.

The edges were fine. Had this not been the case, I was going to use a concrete patch kit to create a smooth area for the stencil and am SO glad I didn't need to do that.

This is the first stencil that creates the blue background.

I did a lot of covering up because it is still summer in San Francisco, which means lots of wind.

After the blue coat, a white boarder was added by placing a smaller ellipse inside this one. (sorry no pic). I did 3 coats of blue, over 2 days, to make sure I covered all the divots in the sidewalk.

The numbers. I used coke bottles to try to hold the stencil down in as many places as possible. In this picture I have the largest ellipse on top to make sure my alignment was correct. 

What do you think? Do tell.