Sunday, August 30, 2009

the story of a chair...

Here is a little play by play, just so you cansee just how much went into refinishing the chair.

Fabric Choice: Hollywood in Pink by Alexander Henry:

Before: Orange-Shag-O-Licious
Removing about a million staples to remove the original fabric:

Removing the original padding:

Paint stripper! Stripping a chair down is a bajillion times harder than just slapping on new paint:

Slather on the stripper:
Wait until it turns white and scrape it off:
Two weeks later:

And hours of Dremeling in the grooves:
Two coats of Ebony stain:

Two coats of High Gloss polycrylic:


New padding and batting for the cushions:

Cutting the fabric with a newspaper template:

Sewing with piping along the edges:
Handsew edging around the top cushion:

And finished at last!!

The ebony stain is a million times better than black paint... you can still see glossy wood grain... Taking the extra time made this chair special.

One down, one to go!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Before and After: my vintage Hollywood Regency chairs

My finished product wouldn't ever be mistaken for a professional upholstery job. No, no it won't. But I am rather proud of my chair. It was my first "big" job. Before, I had only done dining chairs, which is just wrapping fabric around the seat and stapling. This required me to sew the seat cushions. And I had never sewn in piping before. On a round cushion no less. Squares, I can do. Curves notsomuch. At one point, I almost gave up and was going to tearfully bring the chair and fabric to the upholstery shop... but I sstuck with it, and the outcome isn't so bad for a first chair. This is my lessons learned chair since I have another to go.

You remember the story right? I got that at an estate sale. This pair of chairs were from the Muehlebach Hotel. Who knows - maybe a President sat on one!

Without further ado...


It's like orange shag carpet threw up on a chair! And the once-white lacquer is now rather sad. It took hours of stripping, sanding, staining and sealing, in addition to the agony of upholstery to make this...


No, no, no - it isn't black paint. This is Minwax Ebony stain. I love that it is so dark, yet the light hits it and the natural woodgrain shows through:

I used Polycrylic High Gloss to seal the chair. I normally use matte, but this chair, I think, warrants a little extra bling!

To fiinish off the top edge of the chair, I handstitched on this white edging:

The fabric is Alexander Henry's Hollywood in Pink. This will be going into the pale pink dining room, so I think the brighter pink fabric and dark wood will be a nice accent. This is as "glamorous" as I get. ;)

When I recover from sewing, I will post a step by step. That will require uploading a lot of photos and Blogger is such a pain with that!

Fishs Eddy & Anthropologie kitchen finds

I love getting packages in the mail. It's even better when it is pretty stuff for the house! I ordered a few items from Fish's Eddy as a test run. I always like to try out a few things before I place a big order for a store, sight-unseen. Fish's Eddy is a home goods store located in the Flatiron Building in NYC. I say this with total authority because I read this on their website. I have not had the luck to go there. Anyway, I liked their whimsical collections and decided to order a few things.

They are so cute. Order away, folks. You won't be disappointed. I got:

Bird on a Wire Cake Stand. On sale for $13.18. In person, it is the prettiest pale blue. Bigger than I thought it would be for the price!

Duck Platter. My youngest is in a duck phase now. Also on sale. $7.48. A nice size to throw some cupcakes or cookies on for the kiddos.

Cow Creamer. $7.95. I think Pier 1 has them for $5, but I found this one first. We aren't coffee people. (I actually prefer tea). But it will look lovely on the shelf Steven just installed in the kitchen.

Are there any lesser-known stores that you shop at? I would love to find new places to pick up pretty home things at.

Oh, not at all "secret" or anything, but I am a fan of Anthropologie. Or at least their sales. I got a great pink ticking stripe rug there on the cheap. Also picked up a bottle of Lollia perfume - amazingly light and pretty scent, with gorgeous packaging.

Planning on maybe getting these things on my next visit:

Squash jam jar. Sort of weird, but I think kind of cool!

Colorful measuring spoons. One of them says "a pinch" on it - which I think is cute. And they having unusually long handles, so they will do nicely when dipping into spice jars.
Speaking of spice jars, these numbered ones are cool. But maybe not $5 each cool:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shoe Love

I just got this fabulous 2010 calendar at Bed, Bath & Beyond...

I am a big fan of pretty shoes. Unfortunately, pretty shoes are not comfortable shoes. I used to be strictly a Doc Martens and Uggs kind of girl. But, in my consulting travels, I landed in California and felt the pressure from all the stiletto-wearing women around me. I caved in and bought some heels.

Now, I really like the way the froo-froo shoes look. Yet, detest the way they feel. Boy, do my feet hurt by the end of the day. (Is that normal? Geesh!)

I don't own any Manolo Blahnik's or Jimmy Choo. I am not rich enough to be in that much pain. I settle for NYLA, Madden and Chinese Laundry.

But I digress... I stopped dead in my tracks when I spotted a calendar featuring Andy Warhol's shoe illustrations. (I admit it. I actually was trying to track down some of the shoe illustrations in P.S. I Love You for art work. Unsuccessfully.) I guess they have been printing this calendar for years now, I had just never seen it.

Perhaps, this is destined to become inexpensive art work in my bedroom or closet someday. In a pretty frame, with a mat, it could look really nice.

Here are some of my favorite Warhol Shoes:

Andy Warhol Shoes, Top to Bottom:
Shoe with Holly
Shoes Shoes Shoes
Shoe Light Shoe Bright First Shoe I See Tonight
You Can Lead a Shoe to Water But You Can't Make It Drink
Dial M for Shoe

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Source List: Last House Series

I will put all the source lists for the Last House on the Left series in this post. Refer back to this for updates. :)


Friday, August 21, 2009

Last House on the Left kitchen

As I mentioned in the interview post, I will be studying several of the rooms in Last House on the Left, providing details and sources when I can. Of course, I had to begin with the kitchen because it is my very favorite room of that house.

The kitchen seems to be the heart of this house, since the majority of the scenes take place here. Isn't that just like real life? Everyone always seems to congregate where the food is!

The first thing that struck me about the kitchen was the gorgeous wall color. Johnny Breedt said they used a Dulux color, influenced by a Martha Stewart color. My best guess would be colors from Martha's Araucana Collection, my favorite being Araucana Blue. Here is a sampling of Martha's colors:

I mentioned the interview that Breedt used a basic stainless sink instead of a pricey designer sink. I think it is completely appropriate as this is a vacation house, and a family might not be willing to put designer items in it. Isn't it more fun to collection items over time for such a house? I also love all the spice racks in the kitchen - I spotted at least 4! I'd hit Etsy for vintage spice racks.

Luckily, Monica Potter, "Emma," is so lovely I don't mind her popping up so much in the shots. I chose the shot below to show the decorative plates she has in display in the dish rack. It is a shame to buy such pretty plates and hide them away in a cabinet. It is a great idea to leave them out.

Here, Mr. Collingwood works on the rather-dated microwave. I included the shot to show you the pretty lace sheer on the door. And the pocket-hanger-thing on the door. Also a nice shot of the Shaker-style cbainets. I nice change of pace from beadboard sometimes. Bin pulls are always my favorite kitchen hardware. And probably the only shot of the kitchen flooring in the movie - hardwood, of course.

The couple preparing dinner on a small island (table!). This would be positioned in front of the stove.

And the stove! This is the fullest shot I could get of the stove. This scene is after the lights go out, so it is a bit dark. But I wanted to show just how wide the stove was. Johnny called it a thing of beauty, and I agree. I love vintage appliances!

A little brighter shot of the stove. We see some more of the great knick-knacks that truly give this house a lived-in feel. The under-cabinet lighting gives a nice glow.

You would think the wood counters received their patina from years of use, but we know this was courtesy of Johnny & team. Aren't they beautiful? I just read about a company called Perfect Plank that has very reasonable rates for similar counters. I am looking into them for my own kitchen.

Curtains in my house have to be breezy and sheer. I am not a fan of blocking out natural light or pretty views. I really liked these curtains in the kitchen. They look to be light and sheer, with green floral embroidery. I ordered these curtains, which appear to be very similar.

The tin canisters caught my eye the first time I watched the movie. I blogged about a similar (new) set months ago. Typhoon has a Vintage Collection in cream that would give a similar look. Check out Amazon.

A little more detail on the curtain and yet another spice rack.

The only shot to give us a glimpse of this corner in the kitchen. It is probably like the little stool in my kitchen corner that no one ever sits on!

Here we see "Emma" in the hallway that connect the ktichen to the dining room. I like the baby blue chalkboard over the wine rack.

This fuzzy shot is the only shot in the movie of the pendant light over the island. See the blurry silhouette to the right of the white lampshade? The cheapest, yet nice-looking, ones I have found are $30, in stock, at Lowe's.

Don't you love glass-front cabinets? And in this final shot, we get a glimpse into the dining room. See the floral curtains over his shoulder? The dining room only makes a short appearance in the movie, but I will be goign through it, as well as a few other rooms, next.

I hope you enjoyed this kitchen as much as I did. Stay tuned!