Written on September 13, 2013 at 10:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Hi there! My name is Jennifer Bridgman and I write the blog The Chronicles of Home. I’m hopelessly hooked on home projects and write about decorating, building furniture (and other things!), trash-to-treasure furniture redos, and recipes – I love to cook (and eat) when I’m not wielding power tools and fabric swatches. I’m so thrilled to be guest posting on BHG Style Spotters today and telling you a little more about my sofa reupholstery project that’s featured on the “I Did It!” page of BHG’s October issue.
The first question a lot of people ask me when it comes out that I reupholstered my sofa is…”Why??“ And while I think “I reupholstered my sofa” makes me sound very intrepid and fearless – picture me standing on top of my sofa, flexing my muscles with a pair of scissors in one hand and a staple gun in the other, letting out a roaaaaaarrrrr! – the truth is that I had very little to lose by taking on this project.
My husband and I bought the sofa seven years ago and the center cushion had a tear in the leather that stretched across the entire width. The seat cushions were sewn to the frame, so flipping the cushion over wasn’t an option.
We went out to look at replacement sofas one weekend but were planning to move within a year or two and ultimately thought we should wait to buy a new sofa until we moved to be sure we got something that fit the space well. This pretty much left me with two cost-effective options: live with the torn sofa for another year or two or try to reupholster it myself. The sofa was already pretty badly damaged so if I got it apart and the redoing didn’t go so well, I wouldn’t have ruined a perfectly good sofa. I’d just have ruined an already kind of ruined one!
I’d done enough reupholstery projects where I’d stripped furniture to the frame to feel reasonably sure I wouldn’t come across any big surprises. But, don’t get me wrong, this was the biggest project I’d ever undertaken and in the end had to just hold my breath and leap! The good news is, I didn’t have any surprises. It was, however, a very time consuming project. My husband took our two young daughters to his parents’ house the weekend I started the reupholstery and I worked about 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. When he got home that night with our girls, I had stripped the whole sofa and had the frame, including the arms with nailheads, finished.
This left the three seat cushions and three back cushions to be done, and I spent every spare minute I had that week chained to my sewing machine. Not literally…but sometimes it felt like it! I had never sewn welting before (that raised cord along the edge of the cushions) and there was a LOT of it for this much sofa. The first seat cushion took me five hours to finish, and that was not including sewing the welting. I was such a beginner, though, and the next two went faster for sure. I had moments that week while working on the sewing of the cushions when I just wanted to stop but I was too far in to turn back and when I zipped the last cover onto the sofa that Friday and we headed into the weekend with a “new” sofa I was about as proud as I’ve ever been of a project. Sinking onto the velvety cushions made every moment spent worth it.
When I was choosing the fabric for the upholstery, I knew I wanted something very different than the original dark leather. Our pillows were constantly falling on the floor because the leather was so slippery, it was sticky in summer and cold in winter, and I had had enough dark. When I tried to think of the “opposite” of dark slippery leather, I kept coming back to the idea of plush, soft, velvet.
I wanted a light color but was worried I’d regret the choice with my two well-intentioned but often messy munchkins using the sofa every day. I ordered a bunch of fabric samples and thought I would go with one of Sunbrella’s indoor/outdoor velvets, but I wound up falling in love with another ivory velvet that had a slightly ashy undertone. It wasn’t Teflon-treated like the Sunbrella velvets, but it had a water-repellent finish that I hoped would be enough to ward off little stains.
It’s been about six months since I finished the sofa and so far, so good. Well…except for the time my two year old got into my husband’s oil paints in the basement and rubbed her green paint-covered hands on one of the cushions before I realized what had happened…the day before the BHG crew was coming to take photos. I think I very nearly fainted. I made these cushions reversible though, so I just flipped it over and everything looked good as new!
It cost me just under $250 in supplies to complete the reupholstery, not including my labor, of course, and I had the tools I needed for the work already. I don’t know of a single place where I could have bought a new sofa with spotless upholstery for $250, so from a cost perspective, this project was definitely worth it! I also have no regrets whatsoever about the time I spent working on it. I might have been singing a different tune had you asked me that question midweek after hours sewing, though! But, really, for me, this project was worth every second spent.
If you’d like to read more about my process with some tips, sources, and tutorials, I shared some of that info HERE. I also made the X-benches you see in some of the photos, and share a tutorial for making them HERE.
I hope you enjoyed this peek inside the process behind the “I Did It!” page. Stop by The Chronicles of Home sometime and say hello! You can also sign up there to follow along with me as I take on new projects. I’ll be sharing some never-before-seen (oooh, the drama!) behind-the-scenes photos and info on the BHG photo shoot next week when the issue hits newsstands.
Written on September 3, 2013 at 9:00 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Hi all! I’m Christy, the “Planted and Blooming Girl,” a busy mom who dabbles in DIY projects in my spare time. The biggest of these is my staircase, and thanks to BH&G for featuring my project this month, as well as asking me to “guest blog” about it! Although the entire process was an adventure, I have to admit, the most exciting part of the whole ordeal was when I was called and asked if I would be interested in having my staircase renovation featured.
I almost ignored the call when it came, because the number was unavailable! I did answer, lucky for me, and this sweet voice introduced herself as Kit Selzer, an editor from Better Homes & Gardens…my mind was wandering at this point, could my subscription really be up, already? Wait… did she say editor? She went on to ask if I had submitted my staircase redo to the “I Did It” section online? Why yes, that’s me. She proceeded to explain that they would like to feature it in an upcoming issue of the magazine. What? In print? Get the heck out!!! That’s so awesome, I’m thinking, because now, it proves to my husband that the stairway really does look good! He didn’t understand the molding and trim or why I even ripped up the carpet to begin with! So I waited for her to get to the part where I send them a picture of me in front of the stairs and they publish it. Not the case. Kit told me that they would like to send a stylist and camera crew to my house to photograph the staircase, featuring me and possibly, my kids, within the next three weeks!
After several phone conversations with Kit and Lauren Matina, the stylist, reality set in that my stairs were going to be in a magazine! How crazy is that!? The staircase to be featured is in my family room, which I cleaned and arranged to magazine-page perfection for three days before they came. Little did I know, that once Lauren, John Bessler (the photographer) along with his assistant, arrived, they would upend everything in the room! Furniture was moved and artwork was taken down to make room for the huge photography screens, computers, camera equipment, clothes, shoes, and accessories. (Everything went back into place at the end of the day.) Lauren had her work cut out for her, by trying to coordinate the clothing for five kids! (Welcome to my world every single holiday.) It was a whirlwind and lasted for almost six hours! Six hours for one picture! It was a long day of taking pictures on the stairs, but John made the day fun because he was so great to work with!
This experience was so much fun, completely unexpected, and so unlike anything I’ve been involved in, as well as my children. I have such an appreciation for how much effort goes into each and every picture featured in this magazine.
Thank you again to BH&G for selecting my project. I hope I have given other people a bit of inspiration to “bloom” where they are planted and try a project they have admired!
Christy, Planted and Blooming Girl
Written on August 8, 2013 at 6:00 am , by Chelsey Andrews
Trend: Filing Cabinet Side Table
The ‘ol filing cabinet, once used for organizing our many MANY papers, is now headed towards extinction. I don’t know about you, but the majority of my bills and other items are digital and saved on my mass storage drive. I’m no longer weighed down with a crazy collection of wasted paper. So, what do we do with this “antique” filing systems? We find a new use.
I found this little file cabinet at a thrift shop for $5. It was scratched/dented and not the prettiest color. I always see these cabinets hanging around at thrift shops and this got me thinking… how can I reuse these relics? I turned this short tabletop file cabinet into a little side table. To see how I did this, check it out below.
- First, clean up your filing cabinet. Then, use some painters tape to cover up anything you don’t want painted. I wanted to keep the silver handles clean for this side table. I used an X-acto knife to trim off any excess tape. Pull out the drawers to spray separately.
- Next, in a well ventilated space (preferably outdoors), spray two layers of primer paint. Let it dry at least an hour.
- Add some color! I used 3 layers of a pale blue spray paint, from Valspar. Since this color ONLY came in matte, I added a shiny clear coating over the entire table. Let dry for at least 48 hours.
- Prep your table legs. I liked the shape and style of the Waddell Table Legs, from Lowes. The only down side, the legs were way too tall for a side table. SO, I cut each leg down to 14.5 inches high and drilled a hole (using a 5/16 inch wood drill bit) to add a new hole for each table leg. Add these 5/16 inch hanger bolts to replace the bolt section you cut off on these legs.
- Place these table leg tops on each corner of the bottom of the cabinet and use a permanent marker to mark a hole in the center. Use a 5/16 inch metal drill bit to drill a hole for each corner.
- Put each table leg top on the INSIDE of the cabinet, in each corner, and screw in the legs (one at a time).
- Place in your office, living room, studio, or right next to your table. Enjoy.
ENJOY! I use this little table to store my ribbons, tapes, and other things I need quickly.
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
Written on July 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm , by kkramer
I spend a lot of time looking at blogs. Working in social media, a large portion of my days at BHG are made up of checking out what clever projects bloggers are sharing—and my reading typically doesn’t stop when I go home. I find a lot of really cool things hopping from site to site, which is why I’m excited to share our new Friday Finds series with you! Each week I’ll be showing you some of my favorite new content that I’ve found from our BHG Insiders, a group of bloggers that we connect with for projects. Here are some of my recent discoveries:
This beachy space looks like the perfect summer relaxation spot. Planked walls are one of my favorite decorating trends, and this pool house makeover from Four Generations One Roof certainly wears it well!
Bloggers, would you like to work with us and have a chance to be featured in our upcoming Friday Finds? Apply to be a BHG Insider here!
- Kenzie Kramer, Social Media Editorial Assistant
Written on June 22, 2013 at 10:30 am , by kkramer
Who doesn’t love a good makeover? I’m obsessed with them these days! From fabulous new facades to a side table turned into a cake stand, I’m always amazed by creative ideas. With my obsession in mind, I scoured countless blogs to discover my favorite furniture refreshes for this month’s Best of the Blogs feature. Here are my top picks!
1. This revamped table from House of Fifty shows that little details go a long way. I’m all about gold accents right now!
3. More Ikea upgrades! This one, featured on Armelle, gets a new look with fresh white paint and eye-catching hardware.
4. I’m always pleasantly surprised when people turn basic items into creative pieces. This toddler chair-turned-planter from Four Generations One Roof is such a fun way to recycle unused furniture.
5. One thing I’m currently coveting for my work space is a colorful tray to use as a catchall. I love that this DIY tray from Simplified Bee can be customized with inexpensive wallpaper scraps.
6. I’m a sucker for all things colorful, especially this bold green chair from Young House Love. The rattan-inspired design and cheerful ikat pattern make it my ideal office chair.
7. A ladder turned into shelving? Yes, please. One of my favorite things about this makeover from A Beautiful Mess is that that you can easily remove the shelves to use the ladder for its original purpose.
8. I’m amazed at how Remodelaholic turned this inexpensive table into a console with drawers and shelves. I’m also a big fan of baskets and how they add contrast to this piece.
9. As I said, I love a pop of color. This teal table from Yellow Brick Home brightens the entire entryway and the Greek key pattern on the sides is the perfect subtle detail.
10. A touch of rustic style is a great unexpected element and these reclaimed wood tables from Kojo Designs seem incredibly simple. They also saved extra money by using wood from a fence they had just taken down!
11. I think this refreshed empire dresser from Picked and Painted is the perfect cottage style piece. The slightly distressed paint gives it a great worn in look while the glass knobs add a touch of elegance.
Have you ever given a piece of furniture a new look? I have an old coffee table waiting for a fresh coat of paint and after seeing all of these projects I can’t wait to start! Next month we’ll be sharing some of our favorite 4th of July decorations and DIYs. Do you have one that you’d like to send our way? Shoot me an email at BHGBloggers@Meredith.com.
- Kenzie Kramer, Social Media Editorial Assistant
Categories: Best of the Blogs | Tags: Before & After, before and after photos, before and after pics, chair, color, colorful furniture, diy, diy chair, diy home decor, diy plans, DIY projects, do it yourself decorating, do it yourself furniture, fantastic furniture, furniture, home decor, home furniture, Makeover, paint, painted furniture before and after, refresh, table
Written on March 7, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Style Spotter Editor
Hi everyone, Kit Selzer here! As BHG’s remodeling editor, I’m always on the lookout for products and ideas to help people with their home improvement projects. Anything that makes the process a little easier and more satisfying scores high on my list. That’s why I find the innovative approach of one company particularly exciting.
Bath Simple is a San Francisco-based company that designs baths all over the country. They help you choose everything you need—from the tub to the cabinetry hardware—from their curated collection of products. Then, get this: They ship it all in one big crate to your home. No running from store to store to pick up each item. No stalling your contractor while you wait for that shower head or medicine cabinet to arrive.
When John Crowley, Bath Simple co-founder, visited our Des Moines office to explain his company’s concept, my colleagues and I thought it was a valuable service for people who want a well-designed bath without having to agonize over a multitude of choices. We were eager to share it with readers in a big way, so we worked with Bath Simple to create an inspiring example loaded with ideas. Check out the project below, which appears in the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens.
Here’s some advice from John on making any bath remodeling go smoothly:
1. Choose products that don’t have far to travel. A faucet shipped from Europe could delay your entire project.
2. Stick to the plan. A layout or product change could end up costing you time and money.
3. If you can only change one thing, replace the vanity. It’s easy and affordable, and will make a big impact style-wise.
Good luck with your bath updates!
- Kit Selzer, Senior Home Editor