Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Chair Reupholstery Project Gets a Bit "Hairy"

Before I start yapping about the chair redo, I want to thank everyone that left a what would you do comment on my Tuesday post.  Every comment was so fun to read!  It sounds like the majority of you are just as curious as I am about the key!   I've got a few things to investigate before I start buggin' strangers but I can promise you there will be more follow up to this story! For now - To Be Continued -

After getting over the initial excitement of finding that skeleton key, I continued on tearing away at the old upholstery in order to get it down to the bare bones.  I was happy to find beautiful shaped wood that was hiding underneath! 
I also learned a fun little fact about the guts of this chair.  See that gray/black stuff that kind of looks like gross hair?  Well, it is hair... horse hair to be exact and that kind of fill isn't cheap- $347.35 for 15lbs of horse hair fill compared to $78.60 for a 13.5lb bundle of organic cotton.  Who knew?  I didn't. Turns out most high end furniture is filled with horse hair, for example Hastens mattresses at $4,000-$12,000 a piece.
I consider Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware's furniture to be quite fancy and when I did a little investigating I found that they don't typically use horse hair fill.  Anyway, it was an interesting thing to learn because it made me understand that this chair was made of high quality materials and perhaps came from a higher end furniture store?  Haven't found other tags or logo yet, but we'll see!

With my chair down to it's bare bones, I looked to Restoration Hardware for some inspiration thinking my chair could have a similar look to some of their upholstered chairs.  The first collection I stumbled upon was their Deconstructed Collection which featured the artistry and inner workings of each furniture piece.  I thought it was totally interesting after gutting my chair and seeing a similar set up....
Restoration Hardware Deconstructed Collection

However I don't think my DIY skills can execute this look as nicely, LOL!
My inspired look is going to be closer to their Lyon Upholstered Chair.  I like the linen fabric and exposed wood framing. 
Restoration Hardware Lyon Chair

This chair redo will be my first full-on reupholstery project (this one was pretty easy).  I hope it goes well! 

I might try and add in some nailhead trim to the look, does that sound cute?
Do you have any upholstery tips?

Be sure to let me know if you have any thoughts or tips!  See you tomorrow for Head Over Heels Friday!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Intriguing Discovery From My Estate Sale Chair

Remember that chair I picked up from "The Estate Sale With An Old House Tale"?  Well, while I was tearing it apart I made a VERY exciting discovery that made my curiosity go wild...
An old skeleton key!

Now I wouldn't be excited about finding a key in a random old piece of furniture, but this is totally NOT a random piece of furniture.  Just in case you missed the post about the estate sale where I got the chair- ... The estate sale was at a home in my neighborhood that I have been dying to see the inside of.  Even though the home was in rough shape it had all of it's original charm and character- which I hope will remain intact and restored if sold to a new owner.
So imagine how bananas it felt when I started tearing into this chair...
Thinking only about the yucky old fabrics, materials and 'seat garbage' inside only to hear...
"thunk, clink" and looking down to find an old skeleton key.  Bananas right?!? 
I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head when I saw it!

  Like I said, I normally wouldn't think much of such a discovery but it came from that house down the street...  that house I already had/have so much curiosity about anyway.
I know that key might not even be for any lock in the house, but I can't help but wonder.  Wouldn't you?  I don't even know if anyone is living there now, but part of me wants to knock on the door and just pass the key along to whoever is there.  I figure they would be curious too?

What would you do with the key?
Turn it into the homeowner?
Do nothing with it?
Any other crazy ideas for this crazy gal?

  Let me know what you think I should do. I'm dying for some advice other than Alex telling me to leave it alone :) HA!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Head Over Heels Friday: Target Shopping Favorites!

Okay, did anyone else catch Young House Love's "Window Shopping" post at good-old Target earlier this week?  I did and then I thought, 'Psshhhhh, what a fun idea! I want to walk around Target and show the cool stuff I like'.  So I admit, I am going to be a total copycat with this post but it sounded too fun to pass up. I always find something I am Head Over Heels for during a trip to Target or Super Target (they are everywhere in Minneapolis- the original home of Target).

Now, let's go shopping!
Click your heels together... "There's no place like Target, there's no place like Target"

First find, this purdy turquoise damask pillow.  Hmmm, does it look a little familiar?
Yep, it's the one in our Master Bedroom!  So stinkin' stylish for under twenty bucks!
Nearby were these glamorous end tables. Love the mirrors and detail in the shape!
These pillows were awesome!  I loved the design on the linen-y fabric and after giving them a squeeze I found they were feather filled- loved them even more!
 I thought the blue pillow on the right would look cute with the blue window panels below. But regardless I love the pattern & color of all the panels!
 I couldn't resist including these baskets in this post, they might look familiar too?
 I bought one almost two years ago and still love it!  We don't have any storage by our back door and it was perfect for shoes (sorry super old photo from that post, Sadie was practically a puppy then). Those little chalkboard plates still get me :)
 When I popped down the rug aisle, these two caught my eye.  I was digging the fun wool-y ball texture from the rug on the right and I liked the mix of gray/ blue that was woven into the naturals on the left.
I loved these blue and white bath linens too!  Remember Chrissy's Blue and Pink Bathroom Design Dilemma?  These would be totally cute for her space too!
 Lastly from the Home Decor realm, this open bottom glass lamp.  I thought it was totally fun and creative that you could add anything inside as a personal decorative touch!  Or if you are a nerd/nutty like me, you could put your head in it.... lightbulb!
Funny story to add here: My carpool & shopping buddy Dean was along with me on this Target trip and when I handed him the camera to take this picture he asked me something and I had to say, "What? I can't hear you, I have a lamp on my head." Oh the LOLs!
Now, no trip to Target is complete without checking out the clothes and accessories right?!? I actually have been shopping the clothes maybe a little too much (if that is possible)?  I had on their Xhilaration top and Mossimo wedges during the trip, ha!
Aren't those wedges wild, crazy, and cute?!?  Only $29.98!

One of my most FAVORITE things at Target are these Mossimo tank tops.  I have almost every color I think?  They are nice, soft, last long, and can be worn on their own (unlike see-through ribbed tanks).
 I spotted these pencil cases/ wallets today and totally want one, they are so quirky and cute! 
Well, that sums up what I am Head Over Heels for at Target... but Sadie wanted her shopping favorite included too.  Sadie puppers goes BANANAS for these "Animal Toss" toys and really, I love them too.  Dog toys usually don't last long in our house, but these seem to survive for a good amount of time- squeakers and all!
Okay, now that's a wrap!

Were you Head Over Heels for anything on our shopping trip too?
 Hammers & High Fives to Dean for joining me!

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! Alex and I will be sticking around home, but I hope to get out in the sunshine if the weather permits.  If it rains I guess I will have to get around to finishing those reupholstery projects :)  Oh well, here's to kicking off summer!!!

Just In Case Disclaimer (similar to YHL): There were no perks for writing up this post. Additionally, my opinions are solely my own and not representative of any other individual or organization.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Tornado: One Year Later

It was one year ago today when I wrote a short little post sharing the news that a tornado came through our neighborhood.  I had mixed feelings about writing anything about it on its "anniversary", but considering that I will always remember May 22nd for that reason, I felt like I had to say something about it.  I don't know if it will be very wise or insightful, but here it goes...

I looked back through the photos of that day & the posts that I wrote and I thought two things:

2. Man, I was overly dramatic about the whole situation

I guess in some ways I feel silly looking back at the experience and the way that I shared some of it through our blog.  There were soooo many terrible tornadoes and storms last year and ours seemed so insignificant in comparison.  Alex and I along with our neighbors were so fortunate to have our homes and belongings following the storm unlike those in cities like Tuscaloosa or Joplin.  I just can't imagine. 

Where the tornado does have a lot of significance is the role it will play in the history of North Minneapolis.  Unfortunately, the Northside as a whole doesn't have the best reputation. Even with cute pockets like Homewood, certain parts of North certainly do earn their negative reputation and needed something big to happen to spark some sort of change.  But only time will tell whether the tornado helped or hurt North Minneapolis further. 

I'm of course thinking on the positive side :)
I can only hope that communities came together and became stronger after the tornado... I know ours did!

For now, I thought I'd share a glimpse of how far our little neighborhood has come along since that day, exactly one year ago... then and now.


It still breaks my heart when I think of all of those mature trees that we lost. But I am thankful that the city and the Tree Trust organization has already planted replacements that will be just as big and beautiful in the years to come. The Tree Trust even has a donation website in memory of our neighbor Rob MacIntyre who passed away while assisting in the clean up efforts following the tornado.

So I guess there you have it, one year later... silly me for thinking things would never get put back together :) I only wish I knew then what I know now about dealing with a weather fiasco and all the stress that follows. My advice- whether the storm is big or small, make sure you know what to do if it happens to you.

Now, I am going to enjoy this beautiful day! Totally unlike last year, no cutting down trees, cleaning up our yard, or hauling a tree out of our roof, LOL!  Chilling & grilling is more like it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Head Over Heels Friday: Over-the-Top His & Hers Bathrooms

Yup, it's Friday and this week I'm pretty obsessed with something deliciously ridiculous- his & hers bathrooms... and not just separate sinks, I'm talking fireplaces, closets and "toilet rooms"- that's a new one for me.  Sound ritzy and excessive right?  Well, I have the Real Housewives of Orange County to blame for planting this idea in my head.

I admit, Bravo's Real Housewives series (any city) is totally my guilty pleasure... much to Alex's dismay.  Anyway, I caught this week's Orange County episode and the total highlight of the show was getting a peek at Heather Dubrow's bathroom...
I think it's bigger than our whole house?  I had to get a closer look at this room and sure enough Bravo has a video tour of her home where she highlights all the features of their spectacular bathroom including the seating area, refrigerator, fireplace, towel warming drawers, marble floors, flat screen TV and all the his & hers details- sinks, closets, and toilet rooms
When she highlights the toilet rooms she provides her version of marriage advice "the secret to a good marriage is don't share a toilet"  Darn, Alex and I are screwed I guess?  If only installed 2 toilets during our bathroom redo we might have had a chance... The toilets would have had to fit side by side though, LOL. That would be bad for any marriage, gross!

Anyway, I actually do like Heather & her hubby Terry on the show.  They keep it real from what I can tell, and I guess if I had buckets of moola I'd make a palace bathroom too :) Here's a few other ones I found that I am Head Over Heels for...

Are you a bit Head Over Heels for these OTT (over the top) his & hers bathrooms too? 

If you had the space would you create a big lounge-y bathroom too?

Have a great weekend everybody!  Alex has a special project in store for us, woo-hoo!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Our Ektorp Ottoman Gets Some Fancy Feet!

I mentioned in our Master Bedroom Reveal post that we had changed the feet on our Ektorp Ottoman in order to class it up a bit or "un-Ikea-fy" it, so now let's get into the "how-to" for this little redo!
We found our Ektorp chair and ottoman last summer on Craigslist for just $80.00  (new from Ikea it would cost $400.00 for the chair AND ottoman- crazy Craigslist deal right?!?). The original plan was to put it in the Spare Room off our Master Bedroom... but that didn't work and we have since taken that whole room apart (more to come with that project).
That is how it looked back when it was in the Spare Room... kind of plain, fine, and comfy looking.  But when I decided to move it into our Master Bedroom I knew it would need to look a bit less comfy/lazy and more formal. So we took that ottoman and gave it some fancy formal feet

I picked up four wood feet from Home Depot and spray painted them gold to match the other gold accents in our bedroom. Then Alex popped off the short little plastic feet and added the wood feet in their place using some Loctite Power Grab Adhesive (sorry no action shots).
After adhering all four feet in place, Alex set the ottoman upside down to let the adhesive dry for a couple of hours. Then he carefully flipped the ottoman back on it's feet and let it sit another 24 hours to allow the adhesive to cure.
Once it was good to go we plopped it back in place in front of the chair. I left the original slipcover on the ottoman and I'm still tinkering with the best way to shorten it....
 I was going to hem the bottom, but I think it will be better to shorten it from the top since I still like the little pleats (shown below).
Those little fancy feet certainly made that ottoman fit our room better!
And I love that it looks a bit more Pottery Barn and less Ikea :) 

I'm really happy with how this little $40 fancy feet upgrade turned out!  Looks like we need to add them onto the chair now too!

What do you think of new feet on the ottoman?
Do you know of any other cool DIY upgrades for Ikea's Ektorp furniture?