Easy Coastal Transformations for Ikea Dressers

My dad has a love of the ocean. He grew up spending summers at the beach, and it’s one of those memories that still stirs him. He’s downsizing his main home to a condo and invested in a getaway house near the ocean. A big part of his vision is to have our boys play on the beach the way he did, so I know we’ll be at the house a lot, too.

I’ve been charged with putting his house together, which at times has been a curse (construction project from &$@%!) but is, of course, also very exciting. I can’t deny I love a good decorating project and am fortunate to have this opportunity from my dad. And of course, since we’re by the ocean, I’d love to incorporate elements of a beach house into the design.

One of the many beautiful things the ocean gives us is the beautiful bleached grey patina of weathered driftwood. This dresser from West Elm caught my eye, because of the organic feel of the wood tiles and the fresh look of white against wood.

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West Elm prices are reasonable, but I had a whole house to finish, so I was hoping for a lower-priced option. What do you think when you think of inexpensive furniture? Ikea, of course! Ikea is a real mix of flimsy stuff that is barely worth the low prices and some really fantastic finds. For furniture, I try to stick with their solid wood pieces, which are sturdier and will last a lot longer than paperboard and foil. These Hemnes dressers definitely feel like they’re sturdy and a good value.
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One of the current finishes at Ikea is this gray-brown, which I think has the look of driftwood. The super-easy trick I used was to buy two Hemnes dressers in white and two in grey – all for the price of one dresser from West Elm. I then swapped the drawers between the two sets, and tada! Instant coastal charm with a clean look that will endure!

A simple swap was all I needed for the master bedroom dressers, and the white matches the West Elm Window Headboard perfectly.

Ikea Hemnes dresser hack - swap the drawers for a coastal transformation. By Jewels at Home

White dresser with gray-brown drawers in the master bedroom.

Ikea Hemnes dresser hack - swap the drawers for a coastal transformation. By Jewels at Home

For the kids’ bunk room, I wanted to use a surfing theme, so I painted surfboards on the drawers. The designs were taken from some of the bedding in the room. This is a fun coastal look that is great for young kids and still works for teens.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers in the boys’ bunk room.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

How to:
To paint the drawers, I sanded the drawer fronts lightly and sprayed them with white primer. I painted the surfboards with acrylic craft paints then sprayed a clear finish on top.

By the way, I realize not everyone needs multiple dressers, but you could swap with a friend or just paint the drawer fronts for the same effect. It was easy to work with the panels before I assembled the drawers.

Hope you’re getting the calm feeling of the beach from these easy and inexpensive dresser makeovers!

“Jewels”

I shared this post at:

Powder Room Reveal – Tiny Silver Gem

I am so pleased to finally show you our new powder room! It took longer than I anticipated, but it turned out just as I hoped. I used lots of silver in this small space, to make it feel brighter.

Powder Room by Jewels at Home 1

The finished powder room has lots of bright and elegant details, like the Imperial Trellis wallpaper and new chair rail.

We did not want the hassle or the expense of a full renovation, so I did not take out the walls or floor, even though they were far from perfect.  I worked with what we had and

I’m very happy with the result. Before, the room felt unfinished (because, as hubby points out, it was unfinished) and plain. I  would actually avoid it and go upstairs to a “real” bathroom. Now, it’s still small, but it feels polished and pretty, and I occasionally peek in just to take a look (okay, that won’t go on for long, I hope).

Vanity area before

BEFORE: The whole room was very white – blah – with dated gold-tone fixtures.

I got the help of a handyman to change out the old pedestal sink for this new vanity.  Our half bath is very small, so I looked for a long time to find a small vanity that didn’t feel undersized.  I am happy with the look and functionality of this Covus vanity found on Overstock.  The new towel bar and toilet paper holder add a shiny touch in polished chrome.  The art is a print from an Henry Evans calendar (more of those to see in upcoming posts, too).  I picked the color of the flower and picture mat to tie in the old floor colors.  The frame was a thrift store find and brings more silver into the room.

Here are some more views of the finished room:


Powder Room by Jewels at Home

Powder Room by Jewels at Home 3

Powder Room by Jewels at Home

I’m very relieved to have this powder room off the to-do list.  It was getting embarrassing!  Now, I can get on to some more fun projects that I’ll post soon.

“Jewels”

Inspirations from Daily Life – May 2012

I’ll keep updating this post through May and hopefully start a new post each month with some of the photos I’ve taken of inspiring projects and scenes I’ve encountered in daily life.

With all the great decorating blogs and Pintetest, there is certainly no shortage of ideas for design and projects on the Internet. Still, it’s a treat to walk around and find beautiful inspirations in our regular routine.

Kids’ Furniture

These fabulous chairs are in our kids’ school library. They have pages from old children’s books torn, aged, and decoupaged. You could get very creative with these. My friend and I were talking about making a set for the school auction with drawings from the students and their names decoupaged. You could do the same thing for a special teacher who is having a baby, as a shower gift from the class.

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Baby Shower Cake

This was actually the practice run for my friend’s baby shower later this summer. On a marble chocolate and yellow cake, I spread whipped cream and created a duckie picture out of strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple. It tastes fresher and lighter than a traditional cake with sugary frosting, and you can’t beat the cute factor! I’m collecting more cute ideas for the main event!

Duckie cake for baby shower by Jewels at Home

Brick ceiling with exposed beams
This beautiful ceiling has a homey timeless feel. Seen at Portobella restaurant in Carmel, CA. We have beams at our house that have been painted white like the ceiling. I don’t think stripping them is in the budget, but we’re thinking of painting them a dark color for contrast.

Brick-lined ceiling with exposed beams

Brick-lined ceiling with exposed beams

Rustic outdoor canopy/strong>

This alluring outdoor seating area is in the Anthropologie store. I love the intimate and idyllic feeling of a canopy over the table.

Rustic outdoor gazebo with canopy

Rustic outdoor gazebo with canopy at Anthropologie store.

More ideas to come!

“Jewels”

Scrapbook Paper Clothespin Wreaths {Inspired by Kojo Designs}

The idea for these brilliant clothespin wreaths came from Kirstin at Kojo Designs, who made it as a tea wreath, and it is one of my favorite projects.

O Tea Wreath, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You are

  • easy to make
  • inexpensive
  • eco-friendly, reusing items that would other get recycled or trashed
  • a showcase for gorgeous papers
  • frugal, using up small scraps of paper
  • the perfect gift – beautiful, unique, and useful!
  • versatile – start with tea and adapt for many other displays

Collage of wreath ideas

 

I think Kirstin’s tutorial pretty much covers it all. I had only a few variations for making mine. I also loved thinking up new ways to use these wreaths!

Here are the simple steps with my tips.

Creating the wreath base:

  • Cut a cardboard wreath using sturdy corrugated cardboard or two pieces of thinner board glued together. I used a plate for tracing the outside circle and a scrapbooking template for the inner circle, though you could also use a cup. If you are using scrapbooking paper, make sure your wreath is no bigger than 11 inches in diameter, so you can wrap the 12 inch paper around.
  • Cut your paper in a circle 1/2 to 1 inch bigger all around than your wreath. The more room you have the easier it will be to wrap the paper around. I used a beautiful wrapping paper called Hydrangeas by Kate & Birdie. I’ll have more projects with that paper coming up!
  • Center your cardboard base on the paper and glue in place. I preferred to use a glue stick for this step, to give a smooth finish.
  • Cut tabs around the outside and the center. I didn’t cut all the way to the cardboard, so the the tabs would not show on the sides.
  • Glue down the tabs in the back. I used the glue stick here, also.
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Wrapping the wreath base. After glueing the circle in place, cut tabs around the outside.

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I used a craft knife to cut the tabs in the center and held the wreath up to the light to see where to cut.

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I liked the glue stick for glueing down the tabs. It sticks quickly and doesn’t wrinkle the paper.

Creating the clothespins:

  • You can find wood clothespins online or at a hardware or craft store. Try the dollar store, too!
  • Cut strips of paper the width of the clothespins. This is a great way to use up all sorts of small scraps of paper that are too beautiful to waste. To cut the thin strips, I used the trusty quilting ruler and mat I used in making the fabric growth charts.
  • Glue the strips to the pins. I used white glue to attach the paper to the clothespins, because it soaks into the porous surface of the wood and leaves a smooth finish. I spread the glue on one pin and then pressed it against a second one, to get a thin layer that completely covered the side of the pin.
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I used a quilting ruler and mat to cut precise strips of paper for the clothespins.

glueing onto clothespins

I used white glue for covering the pins with paper. By pressing two pins together, you get a thin even layer of glue.

Covered clothespins

Wow! These clothespins are so beautiful!

Finishing the wreath:

  • Using a glue gun, attach the pins around the wreath, with the clips facing outward.
  • Loop a ribbon around for hanging. You could also use some adhesive strips on the back, if you don’t want to see the ribbon. I like the 3M picture hangers I used for putting up the oversize wall initials.
glueing pins to wreath

Finish the wreath by glueing the pins in place with a hot glue gun and adding a ribbon to hang it.

 

Endless ideas!

I made several of these wreaths for Christmas and birthdays recently, including teacher gifts, and they were always a big hit. I made them in a variety of colors for many different looks

While I gave the wreaths away with tea bags, my friends and I have found new uses for these beautiful wreaths. Here are some of our ideas. I’d love to hear yours, too!

  • Appreciation wreath – My friend Monica used hers to write messages of appreciation to her kids. She used index cards cut in half and wrote in a different color for each child.
  • Inspiration board – I’m using mine to pin ideas for craft and DIY projects.
  • Photo display – what a pretty way to display your favorite pictures!
  • Card holder – for holiday cards, birthday cards, business cards.
Inspiration wreath

I’m using my wreath to organize ideas for projects. I might need some more pins!

I think there are lots of great uses for the decorated clothespins themselves, too. You could

  • Mount the pins on a rectangular backing for a memo board or photos.
  • Put magnets on the back to use on fridges or magnet boards. If you don’t have a fridge that holds magnets, you can stick the clips directly on the fridge with a removable adhesive, which is what I did with these clips for kids art.
  • Set up a “clothesline” art gallery and use these pretty clips to easily hang and change the kids’ projects.
  • Clip together papers or swatches to organize your office or craft room.

Thanks again to Kirstin at Kojo Designs for this wonderful project idea. It has become a standby for me, and I hope you will let me know if you come up with new ideas for these beautiful wreaths and pins!

“Jewels”

Stenciling on Fabric – Lampshade and Pillow

Have you seen these fabulous pendant light drum shades at Room and Board? I’ve been drooling over them for years, with all the gorgeous prints and colors. They’re a splurge at several hundred dollars a shade, but they are really beautiful. Go check out all the beautiful and funky prints they have!

Zinnia Cool Pendant

Galbraith & Paul drum shade from Room and Board in Zinnia Cool pattern.

As always, I was wondering if I could make something like this myself, and in browsing ideas, I found some great examples, including this one from Laura at Some Kind of Lovely Ride. She did a beautiful job on her shade and had great instructions that helped me conquer my apprehension about this project!

laura's lamp

Yellow floral stencils on a lampshade by Laura at Some Kind of Lovely Ride. A perfect DIY inpsiration!

I was so excited to get started, I rushed to the craft store to pick up my supplies and get to work! I stenciled the lampshade in my craft studio and while I was at it, I also stenciled a piece of fabric for a throw pillow. I used Laura’s basic instructions and discovered a few tips along the way, so here’s how it went:

Supplies:

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Supplies for stenciling on fabric.

  • Stencils – I used Mini Peony and Mini Mums by The Crafter’s Workshop.
  • Stencil brushes or sponges – These sponge “pouncers” are inexpensive, easy to use, and washable for reuse.
  • Paint – I had a variety of acrylic craft paint around, and I did mix some to get the colors I wanted. It’s optional, but I also added some “textile medium” to my paint, which makes the paint more flexible when dried. This wouldn’t be an issue for the shade, but I thought it would help on the pillow. I mixed the paints in paper bowls.
  • Tape – I used painter’s tape to hold the stencil in place and mask off any areas of the stencil I didn’t want to use.

Stenciling

Basic stencil:

  • Tape the stencil securely in place
  • Put a small amount of paint on your pouncer. If you load on too much paint, it will run under the stencil and smudge your pattern.
  • Lightly dab through the stencil, moving only up and down. Don’t brush side to side, as this will also make paint run under the stencil.
  • Carefully remove the stencil and blot the back on a clean piece of paper to remove any excess paint
  • Repeat!
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Tape your stencil in place and lightly dab on the paint.

Adding a color:

  • Wait until the first color is completely dry.
  • If you are going to overlap designs, like I did, think ahead about which color you want to be “on top” and start with the colors that are on the bottom.

Finishing the fabric:

  • This is not necessary for a shade, but for a pillow or other fabric that will be touched and possibly washed, you’ll want to set the paint. When the paint is thoroughly dry, iron the stenciled fabric from the reverse side with a dry iron on medium-high for three to five minutes to set the colors. You can repeat this on the front, laying a thin cloth over the stenciled fabric, so the paint doesn’t stick to your iron.

Finished stencils!

Here is how the shade looked before:

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A simple drum shade. Pretty, but I wanted to add some color!

And here’s the finished shade:

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Drum shade transformed with floral stencils in blue, green, and silver. I dare say, I like this better than the inspiration shade!

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The random pattern of stencils gives a different look from every side. And it makes it easier, because you don’t have to worry about lining up the pattern.

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Lit up at night. No, I’m not tired of looking at it. Can you tell?

Here’s the finished fabric. I’ve got a lot of pillow projects lined up, so I should work on those soon!

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The stenciled fabric, on the bottom, will be a throw pillow for the daybed. The colors coordinate with the hydrangea print paper I found. I’m making desk accessories and some other projects with the paper.

“Jewels”

This project is shared at:
The Shabby Nest

New Powder Room – Chair Rail and Baseboard

Oh my, it’s May! And it’s a very good thing that my friend Ari advised me to start my bathroom makeover after my son’s birthday party. That was two months ago, and I had some delusion that I could get the whole project done in a week – on top of taking care of the kids, going to work, and planning the party itself. I hadn’t wanted people to see the ugly old powder room at the party, but waiting turned out to the right decision.

As they say, good things come to those who finally get their behinds in gear and do some work. I had a little spurt of energy in April, when I put up the wallpaper. Now, I’ve finally added the new trim. I put up a chair rail and used the trick of adding a thin piece of molding a few inches above the existing baseboard to give the illusion of a more substantial baseboard. Adding new trim gives your room architectural detail and makes it feel more elegant and finished.

So here’s what I did:

1) Choose trim

For both the chair rail and the baseboard extension, there aren’t standard shapes, so pick something that you like. I picked a heavier piece with a slope for my chair rail and a very thin piece for extending the baseboard. I get almost all my home improvement supplies at our local hardware store, Papenhausen. I love that I can walk there, and the staff is always friendly and knowledgeable. In a relatively small space, they have just about anything you could need. This time, however, I did end up at a big box store to get a wider selection. It’s almost endless!

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Left: small trim piece used to extend the baseboard. I think this is called “stop” molding.
Right: heavier trim piece used for a chair rail. This piece was pre-primed.

2) Measure (twice), cut (once – I wish!)

Measure each wall. If you have an old house like ours, measure at the exact height you will mount each piece, since the walls may not be even. Chair rail is usually mounted 36″ +/- 2″ from the floor. I picked the height of the baseboard to avoid some plumbing. A lot of older and more expensive homes have high baseboards, so this is a great trick to mimic that look, without using a lot of trim, since you’ll just be painting the wall between the old baseboard and the new trim all one color, so it looks like a single tall piece of molding.

You will need a way to make miter cuts (cuts on a 45 degree angle). If you have a table saw, follow the instructions for using that. If not, you can use a tool called a miter box along with a handsaw. Cut the trim into the lengths you need, with mitered ends at each corner.

DO NOT miter the ends that will meet that meet the door jamb, as these should be flush. Yes, I made this mistake – I must have been to0 excited about figuring out how to use the table saw.

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Cut the trim pieces at 45 degree angles at the corners.

3) Install the trim
Mark a level line and nail the trim in place with panel nails. You can hammer the nails partway into the boards before nailing them into the wall. That makes it feel less like you need three hands! Once the boards are installed, countersink the nails, i.e. use a nail set or another nail to push the head of your nail into the board, so it doesn’t stick out.

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Tools for installing trim:
1) level
2) hammer
3) panel nails
4) nail set (you can also use a large heavy nail)

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Hammer the nails partway into the molding pieces before installing.

4) Patch and caulk

Luckily, this step can hide a multitude of errors, and there were a few! Use wood filler to cover the nail holes and any larger gaps (gaps? What gaps?). Sand the patched areas smooth. Then use paintable caulk to run a line along the top of the molding to fill the small space between the wood and the wall.

tools for patching molding

Tools for patching and caulking:
1) sandpaper. I store mine in a magazine file.
2) caulk and caulk gun. You can get ones that you squeeze by hand, too, so the gun is not necessary. Any kind that is paintable is fine.
3) putty knife for smoothing filler
4) wood filler

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Wood filler used to cover the nail holes and fill the gap at the corner.

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The caulk fills the gap between the new trim and the wall.

5) Ready to paint!

All the trim is installed. The next step is to prime and paint this area. I’m going to use a medium grey on the wall below the chair rail, similar to the inspiration room by Sarah Richardson.

powder room trim

The new chair rail and baseboard extension are in place and ready for priming and painting!

An inspiration for our powder room. Click the image to go to the image on Sarah Richardson’s website.

By the way, I learned how to install trim watching the Christopher Lowell over a decade ago. Did any of you watch him? He did a great job breaking projects down into steps, and he ended every show by enthusiastically saying, “You can do it!”. Those words kept running through my head as I was working!

Yay! The finish line is in sight for this bathroom makeover. I’m ready to paint, and I’ll call in a plumber to replace the sink with a new vanity. I hope I can post the completed powder room soon. Until then, remember, you can do it!

UPDATE: The powder room is finished! You can see it here.

“Jewels”

Painted Gold Stripe Tray {by Ari}

DIY decorating projects aren’t just great for saving money. I love the feeling you get when create something that is exactly your vision and absolutely unique. And it’s even more fun when you can share the experience and results with friends. I’m so pleased to introduce you to Ari, my friend, neighbor and fellow working mom/ lover of crafts and decorating. We’ve worked together on quilts for the school fundraiser and shared great times painting furniture and antique hunting. Recently, she got the inspiration to paint decorative trays, and I caught the bug, too.

We picked up some old trays at the flea market last week, and Ari wasted no time getting to work! Here’s the tray she started with, which is one if a pair she picked up for $15 total.

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This play tray has a cool mid-century feel, but it’s definitely plain. Just wait until Ari works her magic!

Using an inspiration she had found, which is included in my earlier post on ideas for decorating trays, she decided to paint gold stripes on it for her dining room.

To start, she painted the inside of the tray with a base of white and let that dry overnight. Then she used blue painter’s tape to mask off this great stripe pattern. Chevron and zig-zag patterns are so popular right now, and this is a great play on that idea, without feeling overly trendy. There are metal corners on her tray, so she masked those off, too.

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Use blue painter’s tape to mark off your pattern. This is a nice play on the popular chevrons and zig-zags.

Now for the fun part, she sprayed the entire tray with metallic gold spray paint. After letting it dry thoroughly, she removed the tape, and WOW! I can hardly recognize that plain old tray. The result is so sophisticated and will look great in the dining room.

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A glamorous transformation for a flea market find. The gold really shimmers and the stripe pattern is so sophisticated.

We have more big plans for decoupage and stencils on trays. I’m also thinking this technique would look great on a wooden box. Come back soon to see how everything turns out.

“Jewels” and {Ari}

Decorative Pillows to Sew – Idea Book

Inspirations for Pillows

Happy Mother’s Day! (Well, for many years, I didn’t find this day happy at all, because it made me feel my mother’s absence even more, but with three little ones of my own, it is happy again, and I celebrate the many wonderful memories of my own mom, whose creativity and talent are constant inspiration for me. So, if this is a hard day for you, hugs! And I hope it will get better.)

I’m making some throw or accent pillows for our home. Sewing straight lines is a doable project for me, and I like to make pillows using some of the same fabrics that are in other parts of a room (such as the upholstered chairs in our dining room and my craft room), to tie the space together.

With a beautiful fabric, a very simple pillow design will work well. There are also many ways to add interest and details to your pillows, and I’ve been collecting some of those ideas to try:

Embellish with Ribbon:

Ribbon motif pillows

By Caitlin Wilson Textiles. Click the picture for details.

grosgrain ribbon pillow

I like this pattern shown at Better Homes and Gardens. They used fusible web to attach the ribbon. Click the picture for more pillow ideas on their website.

These ribbon details on simple pillows gives a classic and elegant feel. You could also do a simple square.

Use Contrasting Fabric on Back:

reversible throw pillows

I love the look of a different color on the front and back. This picture is from Grosgrain, where Kathleen has some tips on making a quick pillow cover.

Embellish with Buttons:

button pillow

Add a letter or other pattern with buttons. This is a beautiful example by Peggy at Letter Perfect Designs on Etsy. (And I’m not just saying that, because it’s a “J”!) Click the picture to see more beautiful button art!

3-D Felt Embellishments:

butterfly pillow

These three dimensional felt butterflies are so sweet! Click the picture to see the tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens.

Piping/ Welting:

pillow with piping

This pillow is made by Weego Home. Click on the picture to see their stunning collection.

A stunning print like this would be beautiful on its own, but I love the piping detail. Here’s a tutorial on eHow for applying store-bought welting or piping. I’d love to learn how to do that!

Silhouette:

silhouette pillow

This incredible pillow by Weego Home is cut velvet appliqued on linen. I think you could get a similar look with painting on fabric, though obviously, it won’t have the rich feel of this original. Click to see their collection.

Pieced Pillow:

pieced pillow

I like the use of panels made from two fabrics, especially the way it is asymmetrical. This pillow is from Anthropologie, though it is no longer sold.

These are some of my favorite ideas – what are some of yours?

Hope to post my new pillows soon!

P.S. Don’t forget that there’s a May Giveaway. Comment on any post by May 15, and I’ll select a winner to receive a custom wall initial.

“Jewels”

Shoebox Makeovers – Mani-Pedi Kit and Decorative Box

I’m lucky to have a sister for so many reasons – she’s the one person with whom I can be completely myself and share all the funniest and saddest moments. As a fun bonus, little sis loves designer shoes, and I get the beautiful boxes!

Today is definitely TGIF. Work was busy this week, and I’m ready to shift gears for the weekend. Tomorrow is our school’s annual dinner, and I love the chance to get dressed up and enjoy some time with friends. I don’t get fancied up often, but I decided to paint my nails tonight and was reminded of how easy and fun it was to decorate this shoebox to organize my nail polish and accessories.

Easy mani-pedi kit made from an old shoebox.

Easy mani-pedi kit made from an old shoebox.

Mani-pedi kit inside

There’s enough room for nail polish and accessories. I love the damask lining of this box. You could add your own to a sturdy plain box.

This box was already lined in that pretty metallic damask, but you could glue in a paper or fabric liner to any sturdy box. I used a ribbon and some stickers on the outside to cover up the printing, and now practical little me gets to feel girly and pink once in a while.

shoebox decorated for display.

This beautiful shoebox has a ribbon closure. I added scrapbook paper to the outside.

Another of my sis’ shoeboxes is in our living room. This time, I glued some scrapbook paper over the printing, and it’s ready for display. (Yes, putting photos in frames is on my to-do list!). The style of this box, with the attached lid and ribbon closure gave me the idea to cover some extra test kit boxes from work. Hope to show you that soon.

Okay, now go raid your (sister’s) shoe closet and create your next project!

“Jewels”

Ikea Dining Chairs All Grown Up – Craftsman and Regency Makeovers

No doubt it’s lovely to buy something new for your house, but it can also be fun when furniture you have had for a long time takes on new forms and uses.

Hubby and I first bought these chairs from Ikea thirteen years ago when we were living on the other side of the continent. There were four of them in birch with white seats around a small matching kitchen table in our apartment. Over the years, we accumulated more from Ikea and then through Craigslist, when Ikea stopped making them. Our collection of twelve chairs has moved across the country and through several houses with us. They’ve held up wonderfully as our everyday dining chairs for thirteen years!

I can’t dig up a good picture of the way the set originally looked, but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Meanwhile, I found this old stock photo on the internet.

original ikea chair

This is the original chair we bought from Ikea in birch, tough ours had white seats. I can’t remember its cute Swedish name, but I think it started with “A.”

Ikea borje chair

Ikea Borje chair.  A current model that has a somewhat similar look.

The cute birch table with a glass top met an untimely end (long story), and we replaced it with an Arts and Crafts/ Craftsman/ Mission style cherry wood table. At that time, I put slipcovers in the chairs, since they didn’t match.

Arts and Crafts Makeover:

Three or four years ago, I was shopping for chairs to go with the Arts and Crafts style dining table, when I realized the solution was right beneath my nose! I still liked the elegant geometric lines of the Ikea chairs, which I think are reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright, perhaps the most well known architect of the Arts and Crafts movement. It was just the light color of the wood that didn’t work. Staining the chairs would have involved stripping the finish and trying to match the color. Even if i had been able to do that perfectly – and that is not likely – the grain of the woods would still not have matched.

In any case, it really isn’t necessary to have chairs that match your table – nor nightstands that match your bed. It actually looks so much more interesting to mix and match. The chairs at the head of our dining table are not the same as the side chairs, either, and I feel it all works together.

So, our chairs that started as Scandinavian modern evolved to Arts and Crafts with new black paint (tips on painting in an earlier post) and tan microfiber suede seats. Microfiber suede, also called faux suede or ultrasuede, has a nice soft texture but is extremely durable and washable – I have scrubbed these seats with a soapy kitchen sponge on more than one occasion, and they end up looking as good as new. There are microsuedes intended specifically for upholstery that have a backing to give this soft material a lot more structure. If you can find this, it’s highly recommended! Four of the chairs with the tan seats are at our games table, which is our original cherry dining table, in the family room.

ikea to arts and crafts

The first makeover: I adapted our modern Scandinavian chairs to go with an Arts and Crafts style table by painting then black and adding tan faux suede seat fabric.

games table

A round games table in the family room is perfect for art projects and board games with the kids. The tan microfiber seats hold up very well!

Regency Makeover:

We move way too often, but I do like the opportunity to change the design of our rooms. We still have some great Arts and Crafts furniture, but I wanted to brighten up our home and incorporate more contemporary and Asian elements. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m trying to develop a bit of a Hollywood Regency/ Chinoiserie feel in our new living-dining room, and I love that these familiar old chairs have been able to come along for the ride.

So, in our current home, I’ve changed the seats on the majority of the chairs to a whimsical Chinoiserie print in blue and cream: Robert Allen Lake Paradise in spa, an outdoor fabric that’s durable and wipeable. These are chairs that are used daily – including by the kids – and I just didn’t think that ordinary fabric would hold up. The polyester is not as soft as a nice upholstery cotton, but our bottoms haven’t minded. I showed how to upholster the seats in earlier post. Start looking around, and you’ll find that outdoor fabrics now come in almost any color, pattern, or texture. Many great fabric designers have beautiful prints meant to stand up to the outdoors, often including some of the same patterns they have in their indoor collections and more!

ikea to regency chair

Another step in the evolution of our old Ikea chairs. This new fabric gives them an elegant yet whimsical feel that fits in with the Chinoiserie/ Regency look I am working on in our living-dining room.

Dining Room with painted and reupholstered chairs by Jewels at Home

Dining Room with new chairs. The space is still a work in progress.

Dining Room with painted and reupholstered chairs by Jewels at Home

Dining room from the other side. I’m happy with the wallpaper inside the shelves.

The dining room is starting to come together. I do like how the Imperial Trellis silver wallpaper looks inside the bookcase. Now that I look at the collection of plates again, I think I could use a couple more. I also want to make over or replace the sideboard. My fantasy is to find an old Thomasville or Henry Link Bali Hai dresser with faux bamboo accents to repaint for that area. And most of all, I would love to change the fireplace mantel. It is plaster with a cheesy faux marble finish, and there are two disembodied heads that stare out at you! Part of me wants to take the whole thing out, but since it’s historical, I might keep it and try to remove the heads and repaint it. I’d also like to do a few small projects like recover or replace the cushions on the head chairs, sew a runner for the sideboard, work on accessories, etc.. Well, one thing at a time. I’m having fun every step of the way!

“Jewels”