February 28, 2014

Make your own pattern + recover an ottoman!

By Chelsea

Hi friends! Today I've got an awesome ottoman transformation to share with you! It's a two-fer, actually - I'm going to show you how to recover an ottoman using your own homemade fabric pattern! The overall vision was inspired from browsing Urban Outfitters' Apartment section. I've been loving their use of geometric patterns and color!

I actually had recovered my ottoman, (a $5 thrift store find last year), once before. The first time around I used a curtain on clearance from Target, but the pattern quickly started to rub me the wrong way. I recovered it before I painted the walls in the space, before gathering accent pillows, before finding a decent rug, and after I accomplished all those tid-bits that pull a space together, the fabric just wasn't working. So, I decided to start over again! (Isn't it totally worth putting a bit of time into something to make it right for you and your home?!)

Here is the true before - hard to tell here, but that leather looks and feels more like a basketball and is tearing away at the seams. But it's so sturdy and such a fantastic size...and Good Golly, Miss Molly! It was $5!!! Which reminds me, I had a lot of comments about my Before / After feature on Apartment Therapy, (see their facebook page for the 100+ comments) about the $15 price tag of my piece. I have two things to say: 1) Prices like this on good, solid pieces are not frequently or easily found; it takes work, and 2) You do need to have a good eye. It's a bit of luck, yes, but with a little practice, you do start to see things that no one else does. You see things as they can be, not as they are. Such was the case with this basketball-made ottoman!

I keep this piece in the basement and we are in desperate need of some more color down there! Since the basement is in a bit of transition right now, (which is coming together so stinkin' awesome I can't wait to share with you), I brought my ottoman upstairs for some after pictures. Love how it looks in the living room, too!

Have you ever seen such a happy looking ottoman?!

Here's the whole low-down for this project:

The real step one for this project, (which I didn't get a picture of), is removing the legs. Just turn the piece upside-down and unscrew them. They should come off pretty easily.

Next, remove your tuft buttons:

Then, remove your existing fabric. Mine was in such bad condition it actually pulled off pretty easily, and where it didn't, I just used regular scissors to cut it off.

Next, recover the ottoman with your new fabric. I used a plain white bed sheet, folded over so its double layered. This is most easily done by placing the piece upside down on the fabric, then attaching the fabric to the underside, (which is facing up at this point), with a staple gun.

Okay, so I miss-numbered my steps. I was definitely putting this tutorial together while playing balloon volleyball with my three goofballs. Multi-task fail! Anyways, now you can apply your design! I cut a triangle of cardboard, (from a diaper box, go figure), and used a gold metallic marker to trace the design.

Gold metallic marker found at A.C. Moore for $1.39

 Almost finished!

The last step is optional - you can choose to sew your tuft buttons back in if you'd like, or just keep it as is with no buttons! I decided to add the old buttons back on:

Let's take a look back at the original piece....

And NOW!

Oh yes, and the legs! Right after I removed them I took them outside, layed them on cardboard, and gave them all a coat of spray paint. They were done drying by the time I was finished with the recovering!

This transformation was just too fun. Creating my own pattern on the fabric really makes the piece feel completely unique!

Thank you all for stopping by! Happy weekend!


February 26, 2014

Paint inside the lines {DIY custom canvas}

By Chelsea

Hi guys! As promised at the beginning of the week I'm sharing a really awesome DIY art project today! This will surely change the way you look at art when you're out perusing.

We bought these canvases at Ikea within a few months of moving into our home, (about 3.5 years ago). They were right for us at the time because, well, I had no clue what I was doing in our home and wanted something large scale for a wall in our dining room. They were neutral and soft and worked for a while.

Before - a little too timid for our updated space

Fast forward to now. I wouldn't say my style has changed so much as it has finally developed, (through lots of trial and error). Needless to say, these soft taupe-y lovelies just didn't have a place in our home anymore so I stuck them in the garage. They're just such a nice size, especially when hung together, so I held onto them in case something came to mind.

Then something came to mind. Paint over the painting! I needed some large scale art to hang over Shire's bedroom dresser, but wanted it to really pop. I picked a few paint colors, mixed a couple of my own, and painted 'in the lines' of these canvases.

Now customized and full of life!

(More pictures of Shire's room HERE)

Doesn't this just change everything?! If you can color in the lines you can do this project. One tip I have, as a non-canvas artist, is the larger the scale, the easier it'll be. Less room for error, (or is it more room for error??? I always get that confused). But really, all you need is a painting of a picture you like. Then just customize it with colors you want to see in your home!

Side by sides are always fun:
(A bit more abstract now, but I think that's charming in this case)

Doesn't this just make you want to run to your closest thrift store and find some lonely art?! I'm looking forward to trying this again for sure. 

And just to officially open the door, I always love seeing what YOU guys are up to! If you've finished something you're excited about in your home please share via email, (chelseasgarage@gmail.com). You're such a creative bunch and I love passing around inspiration. You may see your project featured here!

Thank you for stopping by!


February 25, 2014

Use what you have, Do what you can {Instant home improvements}

By Chelsea

Hi guys! I shared this quote a couple weeks ago on my facebook page but it's totally relevant for today's post, so I'm sharing here too.

This time of year is all about perseverance. We're ready and waiting for Spring and Winter feels like a party crasher overstaying it's welcome. It's this stretch of the year that I think we tend to crave some instant gratification; to see something done, finished, complete. Cleaning the house can be gratifying but it's temporary; it doesn't stay clean, (some shorter than others). So many of us have projects that we are itching to begin but it's not really the right time of year to dive in. This is when those little itty-bitty projects can make a big difference, if to no one but ourselves.

Let me introduce you to a couple new buddies I just picked up the other day:

I've forgotten how satisfying it is to spray paint something! I just love it. 

In this case I felt like adding a few little snaps of color to our bakers rack. Here it is before:

And after!

I just took the leaf bowl and the wrought iron book-ends outside, layed them on a piece of cardboard, and went to town. Oh how satisfying! 

This project was definitely not for high impact. It's not a very noticeable change, especially from across the room...

But it's a little improvement and it's done. And that's a nice feeling!

But this really isn't about spray painting little accessories around the house. I really just wanted to encourage anyone out there who's in the Winter slump to think about the small things you can do, no matter what the forecast outside!

Here are a couple other ideas:
~Swap some pillows around, (or make a new one! HERE's an easy tutorial using placemats)
~Switch out a knob or two with something fresh, (THESE are my favorite)

Do you have any quick and easy go-to ideas you use to refresh your home? Feel free to share in a comment!

Thank you for stopping by!


February 24, 2014

Hello, Apartment Therapy {plus Shire's room makeover}

By Chelsea

Hi friends! What an absolutely gorgeous weekend we had here in Northern Virginia! I didn't think it could get any more beautiful...until Apartment Therapy featured one of my favorite furniture transformations on their site! How completely flattering, to say the least. I love their site and am constantly finding inspiration there!

You can find the article HERE or check it out on their facebook page HERE, (it's made a surprising splash on their fb page). It's an incredible honor that they picked a piece of mine to feature, but the biggest bonus has been some new friends to Chelsea's Garage! So, if you're new to my blog I am so glad you're here and hope you enjoy! I think we'll become fast friends. I have a good feeling about us. :)

If you check into my facebook page now and then you may have noticed a Before / After art transformation I did for my daughter, Shire's room last week. Later in the week I'll share the low-down of the DIY art pieces, but today I'm sharing the full room! It's not a full blown makeover of what it once was before, but when you add a 72"H x 51"L piece into a tiny room, the difference is dramatic.

I purchased this Ikea Aspelund wardrobe used via Craigslist for a great price. It's the riskiest purchase I've ever made. It's a large beast and my daughter's room is tiny, (8.5' x 8.5' with a little nook that her bed tucks into). I have mixed feelings about big furniture in small rooms. The concept can either soar or sink. But if there is one thing you should know about me and my decorating style it's this: I have no fear of trying new things and don't ever take decorating too seriously. If the piece didn't work I would have put it up for sale asap.

Ikea Aspelund wardrobe
(no longer in stores; I found this on Craigslist)

After our Cate, (sister-in-law who guest blogs here now and then with her fantastic creations), helped me assemble the beast and we got it in Shire's room, I was beyond happy with how the room blossomed. I have learned a few things the hard way from having three young kids. Most recently I've learned that they surround themselves with lots. of. little. things. Bits and bobs here and there, all over the place. While her room was fun and cute before, it just wasn't as functional as I had expected. What you see as a neat and tidy 'Before' picture above, turned into an explosion of baby clothes and dolls strewn all over with no place to go. Now my Shire's things all have a spot. Prime real estate in our house run by wild little boys.

More of this sweet little room...Shire is so happy to be sharing her space with you today. :)

How to make a wood pallet bed found HERE

The paper globe light is Ikea but I found it at a thrift store, unopened, (and I just wrapped the cord in twine for a fun exposed look). The butterflies were from an antique shop. The window headboard I made from scraps of fabric, how to HERE.

There's the DIY art - more on that later!

Bits and bobs on the dresser.
(my brother-in-law made Shire that beautiful jewelry box out of recycled cedar!)

My old doll bed from when I was young got another coat of paint and then gently distressed. And wouldn't you know it - this funky gold and cream cloth napkin found on clearance at Anthropologie a while back is the perfect size for a little blanket! I added the pink and teal pom-poms to the corners to tie it into the room a bit more.

A couple small touches: a pair of vintage pink and cream cloth napkins get made into fabric tassels and hung on the wardrobe knobs, (how-to found HERE - sorry for the bad pictures in the tutorial; it's an oldie)!

Tissue paper poofs made of various shades of pink adorn the top of the piece. Love making these things, (and now Shire makes them with me, bonus!)

So there you have it! A big piece in a little room. It could have gone either way but when I walk into Shire's room now I think I hear the faint sound of angels singing. It's amazing how even a large piece can translate so light and airy, and I think that was key for this room. Bottom line, Shire's loving it so I'm a happy Momma!

Thank you so much for stopping by!


February 21, 2014

Any takers?

By Chelsea

Hey guys! Sorry to pop in and out so quickly today but I just wanted to share this beast that I recently acquired and see if anyone would be interested in putting in a custom order. It's incredibly sturdy with a metal interior body, (as you can see in the picture of the drawers), and boasts more storage than any other buffet style piece I've refinished yet! Every drawer has a lip for easy opening, though hardware can be added at request. So if you're in the market for a big ol' buffet, (or media center or office storage), let me know!

70.5"L x 29"H x 19.5"D
Price to refinish is $485, (before adding hardware if requested)

I refinished a similar piece to this one last year. Remember this beauty?

Don't ever underestimate paint! If you're interested in placing a custom request for the piece please don't hesitate to email me; I'm ready to get started!

Thanks for stopping by and have yourselves a splendid weekend!


P.S. Thank you so much to those who have voted for Chelsea's Garage in the Homies Awards by Apartment Therapy! If you haven't yet and would like to just follow THIS link, find Chelsea's Garage on the list, and click on +1. There are incredibly talented bloggers nominated for the Home project / DIY category already and I definitely don't hope to win at this point with one day left. But I'd love to be closer to the top of the pack. :) Thanks, everyone!!!

February 18, 2014

In need of your vote!

Hi friends! What a week of transformation! I got a 'little' something for my Shire's room that I'm dying to show you, but a few more touch ups first, (as well as a small handful of DIY projects around the room to share). In the mean time, I have a small favor to ask! I'm running for the Apartment Therapy Homies Awards - a blog contest! There are a lot of fantastic blogs already nominated, but I would be so grateful if you'd jump over and cast a vote for Chelsea's Garage.

Just follow THIS link, find Chelsea's Garage down the list and click on +1, (you will need to register with your email address, but there's an option to NOT receive any emails, thankfully).

Thank you so much for coming by! Fun things up ahead, I promise.:)


February 13, 2014

Herringbone dresser {Available for sale}

By Chelsea

Hi friends! How's everyone doing out there; warm and safe, I hope? We are buried inside the house today and I cannot be more thankful for the countless blessings that have kept my family warm and safe through this winter storm. My thoughts and prayers keep returning to those who are without.

Since the temps have not been ideal for furniture painting I've had to bring my work inside, (an especially challenging task with three little ones literally running laps and going stir crazy)! A compact mid-century dresser was the first one finished and I've been anxious to show you my experiment with a herringbone pattern!

This was not a hard pattern to apply once I figured out what I was doing...(easier said than done)! Here is what the blue tape looked like before I painted on some Old White by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

If you're looking for a perfect herringbone pattern tutorial, this is not the right stop. I've seen intense measuring in other tutorials to get the pattern just right, but I really just eyeballed mine and think the imperfection is so charming on this piece. 

Once I painted the pattern on I removed the blue tape almost immediately. Then once the paint was completely dry, I took a fine grit sanding sponge and rubbed over the pattern in a back and forth motion until there was enough fading to give it a time worn feel.

The body of the piece I also gave a few coats of Old White, by ASCP, and then gently distressed the edges.

This piece has such exciting possibilities! It would make a welcoming entrance piece, or put a whimsical spin on a child's room, (and the dimensions make it compatible with a contoured baby changing pad), or an edgy buffet in a dining room. I can't wait to see who it ends up with!

36"L x 30"H x 19"D
Email if interested

Thank you for stopping by!