Dining Room Revamp Part 2

I hope you all had a fabulous Valentines day-we ordered Chinese and watched The Vow-it was fabulous. 

Today I am sharing the finale to our dining room revamp!  

Our dining room table is the only piece of furniture that we kept for the new and improved space.  I’ve talked about the table before here, it’s such a solid piece and can totally withstand my two girls sitting on it (literally sitting on top of it because that’s how they do).


girls 019Now lets talk Craigslist and the bench pictured above.  I rescued these lovelies from a playroom full of toddler jumping and marker scribbles.  Someone was practically giving them away at $40 for the pair.  I was sort of taking a gamble seeing as I had no idea how long they were, but in the end the turned out to be perfect.  Now while the benches themselves were cheap, the vinyl to reupholster them certainly was not!  I went with a more expensive vinyl that feels soft and buttery, and has a lovely stretch that cheaper marine vinyl does not have-it was $35 a yard, but I we (my mom purchased 5 yards for me as part of my xmas gift) held out for sales and ended up spending about $160 for 8 yards-which sure beats the $280ish dollars it would have been.  I don’t have a lot of photos from the reupholstering process because we had no idea what we were doing, and it would be like the blind leading the blind- we don’t know two shits about upholstering.  What I will tell you is that for first timers I think we really did a great job! 067

We had to remove the bench from the frame to reupholster it, and in order to get the benches to scoot under the table we sawed off part of the arm.  To conceal the staples, and add some interest we added gold upholstery tacks.  And remember when I talked about painting the wing-back chairs following that great tutorial from Hyphen Interiors?  Well, I did.  I can’t say I’m thrilled with the results, which is why I’m purchasing black slipcovers instead.  You can see from one of the photos that they are a little streaky, and the fabric does feel similar to a stiff canvas-but it’s just not comfortable.  And talk about lint magnets! 

Without any further jabbering, here is another before and after:


I removed the wing-back so you could see the benches and the rugs underneath the table

whole view good

The gorgeous over-dyed rugs (they didn’t have one quite big enough so I bought two and put them together) are from Rugs USA.  I cannot find this particular rug (the Kimberly) on their site anymore, but I bought mine when they were 70% off, and they quickly sold out.  Nuloom, which I believe is the actual maker/supplier of the rug, is also sold out.  These rugs were normally around $500 a piece, and I scored two 5×8’s for $300!  They are hand tufted over-dyed wool, and the quality is absolutely amazing!  I love the way they ground the space.  

side view with wingback

side view 2

side view 3

I Love the Ikea Stockholm chandelier, the mid-century dresser, and the faux sheepskin.  All those elements together are glamorous without being over the top.

books on tableSince I decided not to put the books back into the room, I knew neat piles of books on the table would have to suffice.  This is where I read, sew, menu plan, and I needed the space to reflect that without being cluttered by books.cluttered classy

side view 1

nailhead trim

side view bench

ranarp ikea light

I knew these Ranarp industrial sconces from Ikea would become very popular, and I was right because weeks after I purchased mine Country Living featured them in their magazine.  These chic clamp on spotlights add a lovely industrial/boho vibe that tempers some of the girly elements in the room. I don’t know if this happens to you, but I seem to predict trends simply based on what I’m drawn to at the moment.  It happens all the time.  Like when HGTV had a feature recently on the Benjamin Moore paint color “Hot Lips”.  I was like, “whaaaa?” My kitchen has been hot lips for over a year! 

ikea lights

side view with window seat window seat 1

032Painterly fabrics are so hot right now.  I fell in love with these pillows on Etsy, but couldn’t justify the close to $100 for the two of them.  Luckily I found this pretty painterly fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  It’s a satin broadcloth with a lovely bit of stretch.  It is incredibly soft, and feels a bit luxurious for the price since it’s just $16 a yard.  Since I splurged on the vinyl for the benches, I went with another heavier duty sateen broadcloth to cover the window seat.


target tabeThreshold for Target table that I scored for $23!

window seat 3

Hope ya’ll enjoyed my makeover story!


DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

I recently came across a yarn wall hanging on Pinterest, and absolutely fell in love.  As with many things that I believe sort of cosmically cross my path, I became instantly obsessed with the idea of creating one of these works of art.  I know obsession seems like a strong word, but that really is the only way to describe it.  It’s all very quick, you know.  And it’s not crazy to think that it’s all kind of serendipitous.  It was the same type of scenario that fueled me to make the Shakshuka.  These wall hangings are clearly not some type of trendy new decoration, and while they never go out of style for bohemian interiors, I imagine that after the 70’s their popularity waned a bit.  But I think it’s a safe bet to say they are resurfacing.  Online retailer One Kings Lane introduced an artisnal line last summer, and they have profiled several weavers, also offering their works for sale.  Anthropologie also recently sold wall hangings such as these.  All Roads Design, a husband/wife creative team, has an amazing Tumblr showcasing many of their gorgeous creations, which are some of the very weavings sold at Anthropologie.  Yarn wall hangings add such lovely texture to a space, and with cute shops like Purl Soho selling such gorgeous yarn- it’s hard to exercise restraint.  I started an entire Pinterest board dedicated to yarn wall hangings to gather inspiration before I set out to make my own.  I searched high and low for a tutorial, and after many exhuasted attempts not being able to find what I was looking for, I decided I was going to have to figure this one out myself.  The only problem is…I don’t know how to mother effin weave.  While I do want to attempt weaving at some point, (my husband just bought me a loom to try!) this DIY takes a much more simple route.  Two words…rag rug.  First let me show you a few of my favorites from Pinterest. (For source, click image)



acbf2f28eb3466d6defe9b8242d4dbbe a1e8a3afb6c2a13204f8e25b34eedd76

When I got the wild hair up my ass that I absolutely had to have one of these, a rag rug was the first thing that came to mind.  Luckily I had one lying around that had never been used, so I started with that. The rug I used is 2’x3′, though I folded it in half to make a smaller wall hanging.  Originally I wanted to make a design directly on top of the rug, weaving my yarn through it, but I wasn’t thrilled with the way it was turning out.  So, I made long tassels out of cream colored yarn, and fed them through to the back of the rug and tied it.  I did this all along the bottom.  Next I used Fabri-tac to glue on some hot pink, and black yarn strips directly to the rug.  Then the most fun part of all.  SEQUINS.  I glued on an entire row of sequins, and then glued some  “here” and “there”.  I love the final look, it’s my Ode’ to a Moroccan wedding blanket.  We just used a strip of wood in between the folded rug and nailed it directly into the wall, But you could hang it on a decorative dowel/hanger for the ease of moving it.








What I didn’t tell you, is that these photos were taken in my dining room!  No more purple Ikat walls.  Remember when I talked here about our dining room revamp?  Well, It turned into a complete do-over.  It’s not 100% finished, but I’m going to share the progress with you next week.  It’s pretty delicious!  

*I bought, and Love the Charles Bukowski print from Etsy shop Alphonsinne.  


Glittering Sea Urchins

Hiya! I hope everyone had a wonderful, and relaxing weekend.  I did a few craft projects, talked about philosophical life questions with my husband, read, drank copious amounts of coffee, and watched two great movies (Blue Jasmine & In A World).  

I know I generally don’t divulge a lot about my life here, and I had no intentions of this being/becoming a “personal” blog, but I do fancy myself a creative writer-and coincidentally an over sharer.  Long ago during the hazy days of Myspace (if you think really hard, you’ll remember when it used to be cool) I kept an online journal, and it was my pride and joy.  I shared everything.  Poetry, mothering woes, decorating projects, art, relationship issues, issues I had with myself, nothing was off limits.  It was this cathartic swirling vortex of my neuroses, and for some reason people read it, and moreover, people liked it.  In an effort to get back to that pour my heart out kind of writing, I’m going to start a new tab on this blog called “ramblings”, because well, that’s exactly what it will be.  Maybe a few people will read it, maybe not.  It’s more for me, it’s an effort to be authentic and share the “real” bits of life, the sometimes not so pretty bits that many of us keep locked up inside, until they bubble over into a massive nervous breakdown.  That might be a slight over exaggeration  but you get the point.   

Now, as a reward for sitting and listening to me (and trust me you haven’t heard the half of it) I’m going to show you how to make something pretty, and sparkly.  It’s kinda sorta DIY.  It does involve an electrical cord/socket-so try to not to electrocute yourself.  This DIY was a gift from my dad a couple years ago, but it’s something everyone loves, and people always ask where I got it.  I just recently updated it with glitter—ooooohhaaahhhh.  My mom has had a sea urchin night light for as long as I can remember, but large urchins are not easy to come by like they used to be.  The larger Urchins are not able to be harvested anymore, so nowadays when you buy urchins individually they are on the small side.  If you search Ebay you can find a few lights with a large shell-like this, but they run about $25-30 bucks.  (search sea urchin night light) An individual urchin like the one I have will cost you about $3, so obviously it’s much more cost effective to make your own.  Basically you just drill a hole in the bottom of a piece of wood (big enough for a night light socket to fit in) You can find a socket/cord set like this on Amazon, or probably at your local hardware store.  You could stain/varnish your base, paint it, decoupage it, the options are endless!  That’s basically it.  Get a piece of wood-make it pretty, drill a hole in it, insert your socket , put in a light bulb, and Voila!!  So the next time your on vacation, grab a sea urchin and create one of these magical lights.

urchin bottom   This is the bottom of the light, where the socket goes. 





What The Flock?

tree down


Is there anything better than a flocked Christmas tree?  Hell to the no!  I bought this tree from Walmart a few years ago for $120, after searching endlessly, and only finding what I thought were overpriced options.  The flocking is top notch in my book.  It doesn’t come off the way you think it would, and the branches are heavily coated.  If your in the market for a flocked tree, this is the one to beat!  

Before it gets all Christmasy up in here, I’m going to show you some pictures of my revamped Ikea coffee table, since they are sharing the same space, and its hard to take a photo of one without the other.  In case you don’t remember, I recently shared this chalkboard table DIY.  Well, I’m already (mere weeks later) tired of it, and changed it out for the old one.  This is how I roll, people.  I change things.  A LOT.  The old and current table is the “Strind” from Ikea.  There is no longer a clear glass option for this table, it only comes in white, and black.  

 My recent obsession with all things brass/gold spurred this transformation.  It’s amazing what a can of Gold Rust-Oleum spray paint can do!  Before the table had an undeniable industrial feel, and now it is pretty, and chic.

DSC02072DSC02076table 3


Now, back to Christmas trees…

A few years ago I fell in love with this vintage oriental themed tree by Mathew Mead:



My interpretation of this fabulous tree uses mini party fan decorations:



I am in love!  The leopard skirt is actually a couple yards of fabric that I got for cheap at Joanne’s.  It all seems very Christmas Mad Men style to me, with the bar cart being right by the tree.  The addition of the shimmery disco ball makes it truly festive, and over the top! 

I have a mixture of both new and vintage ornaments. I love to scour the thrift stores every year, and find new vintage beauties to add to my collection  My favorite ornaments are actually vintage reproductions by Christopher Radko for Shiny Brite.  

side treewhole tree view2013-11-11That’s it for now folks!