February 26, 2011

French Burlap Ottoman - Oui! Oui!

I have been admiring  the burlap and linen furniture from Restoration Hardware for a while now. I love the texture and simplicity of it all.  In the past couple of years, French grain and flour sacks have emerged as a design trend in home decor.  I would love to show you some of my faves and my inspiration, but I haven't figured out how to post someone else's pictures yet.  (Rookie blogger...jeez!)  I can however show you a quick link....if you promise to come back.  Check these out.  Aren't they great? 

Recently, I was sucked into the blog world reading a few blogs when I came across the genius at Flea Market Trixie. I love her romantic and shabby chic style.  The reason I say she is a genius is that she actually teaches you how to print your own customized "grain sack"!  
When I saw her fabulous idea, I knew I needed to do this and I knew exactly where I would do it!  The same cat that clawed the Parsons chair that I re-upholstered in an earlier post, also clawed the cocktail ottoman in my living room. It's a little hard to see in the photo, but all four corners have been mangled.  I have patched the dang thing about 20 times.

Following Flea Market Trixie's instructions, here is my cocktail ottoman now!

Here is how I did it:
  1. I figured out what I wanted my "grain sack" to say.
  2. Translated it into French here.   
  3. Chose my fonts and clip art and created my design in Power Point. 
  4. Printed the design (making sure to reverse the design in a mirror image) onto iron on transfer sheets that I purchased at Michael's for $9.99 for 6 sheets.
  5. Cut out each word and picture individually.
  6. Layed out my design on the fabric which is a remnant I bought at the fabric store for only $7.50 for a yard and a half.  (It is a very tightly woven linen type fabric that has the same rustic look as burlap, but is much softer and might actually stand a chance against my damn cat).
  7. I ironed on the words and pictures being sure to remove them while the sheets were still hot to maintain a matte finish.  I also pulled them off before they were actually "ready" so that the design would look old and worn.

The English translation is:
"Where the heart is." (Not visible in photo)
Pesses (our last name) Castle
"Our home is filled with love and laughter."
The number and line below is our address
     8.  Next, I sewed each of the four corners for the bottom part of the ottoman.
     9.  Used my second favorite tool (only to my hot glue gun) to staple the inside and bottom of the fabric.
      10.  Finally, I finished off the look with nail heads ($8 for 4 packs) and hot glued on the gimp trim ($14).

Here is the before and after:

I  was a little worried about the durability of such a light colored fabric with two little ones in the house.  Since finishing this project a week ago it has already endured a coffee spill and a juice box explosion (thanks to my busy toddler...my coffee, not his btw).  I am happy to report that it cleaned up great.  Not a stain in sight!  The next test....the damn cat.

If it does get destroyed or I grow tired of it, I can change it easily and inexpensively.  The whole project only cost about $40!

One little side note - I was so excited to finally use my zebra pillows.  They have made an appearance in almost every room of my house at one time or another only to end up back in the closet.  I couldn't exactly pair them with the leopard ottoman or my living room would look a little too "African Safari" for my taste.  I think they work great with my new ottoman!

February 06, 2011

Adventures in Decorating {Stair Remodel}

Sometimes my DIY mentality knows no limits.  I tend to think that I (my brains and my husbands free labor) can do anything when it comes to home renovations.  My husband doesn't always share my "vision"....or my naive optimism that we can do it ourselves!!  
Since we moved into our house 4 1/2 years ago, I have always despised the stair railing.  It gives me major apartment flashbacks.   Instead of asking for jewelry or handbags for my birthday or Christmas, I always ask for things for the house.  This particular project has been on my wish list for the past 4 years.  My husband even gave me a "coupon" for it to be done TWICE!!  The estimates came back over $1,000 and we just couldn't justify the cost.  (My husband also shares my thrifty nature.)

Over the Christmas break, I convinced my husband once and for all that we COULD do it ourselves!  Our friend, Corona Light Josh helped me persuade him. Like any tipsy confident DIY'ers, we went to work immediately!  Who cares that it was 9:00 p.m.???

 (This DIY project brought to by Corona Light)

Once the demolition began, there was no turning back.  All part of my plan....muwahahaha!!!

Here is the quick synopsis of how the project unfolded:

Finally, after tons of dust and debris, a few miscalculations here and there and thousands of trips to Home Depot, it was done!  

Drum roll please.........................

Yay!!  I knew we could do it!!   I never doubted my hubby's skills for a minute.  
(All though the guys at Home Depot might have.  They actually laughed at us for attempting a stair remodel and asked us to film the project and put it on YouTube!  I'm not even kidding.)
Eat it Home Depot guys! Just kidding...
I still need to touch up the trim, but I couldn't wait to post!  Again, here it is.....
The whole project only cost us around $350!! 

Just in case you were wondering.  The other side of the stairs actually opens up to our home office.  Our plans were to hire someone to close it in and add French doors.  Now that I know my husband has mad skills....we will be attempting it ourselves.  Valentine's Day IS right around the corner.  "Oh, Sweetheart..........."