Sunday, August 21, 2011

Upholstery 101, possibly 99

A couple weeks ago, my beautiful mama visited for a couple days to help me tackle some projects around the house. At the top of my list was creating an upholstered headboard for our master bedroom. It was actually the only project we tackled, because it ended up being a bear. It wasn't crazy difficult, it just took a little more time than I expected.

{step one}
The day before my Mom arrived, Nate and I headed to the hardware store and purchased a sheet of particle board. He used a jig saw to create the curves, and some other saw to cut it down to King head board size. It ended up being about 6'2" long and we kept it's original height of 4'.


{step two}
After much debate at the fabric store about whether to stick with the beautiful fabric I originally bought from or to go with a simple linen look without a print, we decided to go the more complicated route and stick with the original. Isn't it pretty? We also bought some batting and foam rubber for padding.

{step three}
Next we created a pattern to help us cut the foam rubber to the shape of the particle board. We taped some craft paper to the headboard and trimmed the excess off.

{step four}
I didn't want a lot of bulk around the curves of the board, so we traced the pattern for the foam rubber about 2 inches in from the edge.

so the new pattern looks like this!

{step five}
Next, we placed our new pattern on top of the foam rubber, traced it with a sharpie, and cut it with scissors. We then sprayed the wood down with adhesive and placed the foam rubber on top and let it dry for 30 minutes.

{step six...and seven and eight}
After letting the adhesive dry, we decided to take another look at the fabric. We realized that in order to make the fabric long enough for the pattern to make it across the length of the board, we would need to cut 6 inches off the bottom of the board, then cut the fabric in half (vertically) and sew three panels together. This meant we had to match the pattern back up after cutting. This would be the step that put the other projects on the back burner. It was a doozie.

{step nine-ish}
Once the panels were sewn together (which probably deserves it's own separate post), we brought the board in and placed it foam side down on top of the batting. Then we pulled the batting tight around the edges, stapled it all around, and trimmed off the excess. The staple gun is my new favorite toy.

{step ten}
There was no time (or patience, to be honest) left to take pictures during the next step, which was stapling our newly reconstructed fabric to the headboard. Since our fabric was patterned, it was important to keep it centered while stapling. So instead of laying the board down on top of the fabric on the floor, my Mom propped it up and kept the fabric in place while I stapled.

First we found the top center of the board and the fabric and started stapling there on the back of the board. We did most of the top, then found the centers on the bottom and stapled there while pulling very, VERY tight on the fabric to prevent any sagging. We worked our way around and had to do some strategic cutting and pulling around the curves. Between the tugging, heavy duty stapling, and tripping over the dog into a pile of sewing pins, we definitely burned a few calories during this step. By the end we were very pleased with the final product.
Master bedroom pre-headboard:

and the after!


It's still propped up on the mattress, but the plan is to add some brackets to the back, lower it about 6 inches, and hang it on the wall. I really like the headboard, but I'm not sure I love it with our bedding. It feels like the tufting on the duvet/shams is competing with the pattern on the headboard. Maybe we just need more pillows. Suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

While the cat is away, the mice will...

install hardwood floors! While I was on my European vaca, Nate was installing hardwood throughout our main floor. Let me tell you, next to his handsome face, that was quite possibly the best thing to come home to! Since we moved in over a year ago, we have been dreaming of this installation. The carpet was by no means awful, but next to our Bleeker Beige {Benjamin Moore} walls, it left the main area of our home feeling, well, like a big beige box. And the light color wasn't exactly great at camouflaging dirty little puppy paw prints.

Our first step was to find some inspiration, so I did some browsing on Pinterest and a few of my favorite blogs. Here are a couple we loved the most.

{pinterest, originally from}

After we figured out what we were looking for {dark, rustic, and a little "knotty") we headed up to Lumber Liquidators in Spokane and decided on a handscraped, engineered birch:

We loved it's handscraped finish and random imperfections, and lucky for us they had enough in stock to take it home that day!

Now for the before and afters. Before I left for my trip, our living/dining room area looked like this:

Well, not exactly like this. This was actually the day we moved in. So no furniture or bleeker beige yet.

Another view...

And a pic of the lovely linoleum in the kitchen.

I have definitely seen worse linoleum, but I was still pretty excited to get rid of it.

Now for the afters (taken at my friend's baby shower, hence the extra decor and seating)...

No more beige box, I'm loving the contrast! The dark gray fireplace wall adds some depth to the room too. Things are coming together :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Europe lovelies

Finally! A little sample of my trip across the pond.

lovely London town

view of Neuschwanstein Castle from our hike in the German Alps

The Duomo in Florence

Fira on Santorini, Greece

For my first trip to Europe, I am so glad I got a little sample of four different parts of the continent. However, I must say that Italy was my hands-down favorite spot. You can't go wrong with that combo of sun, beach, gorgeous design, pasta, fish, oh...and the wine.

Next up, a peek into what the Mr. was up to while I was away. Hint: he got some serious good husband points :)