A Lesson in Colors and Textiles III: The Fabric Shop

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Choosing the right colors and or fabrics makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE in how your project turns out.

So much of rehabbing something is getting rid of the old and the ugly and refinishing, repainting, reupholstering as much as your little heart can handle and making the piece truly yours. Fabric, pillows, and slipcovers are a quick (and relatively easy) fix if you don’t want to do a ton of work on a project.

The other day, I went into a “designer” fabric store to look around and get ideas. Not to buy (you should know me better by now!!!)

actually heard an employee saying to another employee that they should go downtown to get some fabric/ materials. So, RULE: If you don’t want to break the bank, GO DOWNTOWN/ Discount places to shop. Snazzy shops are for inspiration only!

Boy, did I leave feeling inspired! (These are from the non-downtown-shopping- store, which is much nicer.)

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This fabric just screams beach to me. Luxurious, gorgeous, and understated. Better be because it rang in at $100/ yard!

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I loved this, but I don’t know what I’d want it for…the colors were just awesome!
Made of cotton, it rang in at $36/ yard.

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This velvety cotton would make awesome curtains or pillows. I just looooved how soft it was. $40/ yard.

I’m generally paying less that $40 a pop per piece, I’m not going to spend a fortune on fabric. Even if $36/ yard seems like a steal compared to $100/ yard, it sure adds up fast. I’ve bought fabric that was just as high quality downtown for $7/ yard on sale. But aren’t these just gorgeous all the same?


When to (Not) Quit: Tricolor Table

Remember my post about  knowing when to quit?

Apparently I don’t.

And that’s not always a bad thing. Here’s a picture of the dining set finally finished (and I’m so, so happy with it!!!)

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How cute is this?! Note the orange tray from my DIY Tray post!

The neutral gray legs and chairs balance out the bright orange and Tiffany Blue. I’m sneaky and took a Tiffany & Co. catalog to get matched at the paint store. I love this set so much I am tempted to keep it, but it would look terrible in my hot pink dining room and wouldn’t be good for my hoarder-ish tendencies. Yeah, I just made up a word.

Anyway… here’s another pic!

side view table

Side view- don’t the colors work well together?

Okay, so I almost quit… but I couldn’t give up that easily. Plus the chairs were basically done, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything to mess with it a little more.

I ended up staining the lighter side one more time then re-staining the whole thing, which made it a lot more even. I actually like the differences in the wood- it really shows that this isn’t a new piece, and I LOVE that it has history!

Table Top

Once it was all put together, I really don’t mind the difference in color. It is aged wood, after all, which is part of the beauty of up-cycling!

I’ll do another post with some before shots so you can see just how far it has come.

New Addition!

Last weekend, I crossed the line from rehabber to hoarder. Every few months, I will end up with so many pieces that navigating through my apartment becomes a little difficult and I have to sell a ton of stuff.

What wonderful piece put me over the edge this time? A bamboo-ish chair spotted on the side of the road when driving past a yard sale. I almost didn’t take it because the seller would not negotiate on the $40 price tag. I mean, something about talking someone down just feels right. 


All business: talking on the phone, carrying the chair, and I’m still skurrying to keep up. Isn’t it GORGEOUS though??

We were sooo late meeting friends that we had to make a quick decision and get outta there, and I’m so happy that I brought this baby home. Once I cleaned it up with a little pledge, I realized that it is in such good shape that all it needs is a new slipcover (and you can do a bunch and change them out– score!!) and maybe a little hit with a stain pen.

A couple of days later, I realized that I’d saved a photo of chairs that were super similar as “inspiration” not too long ago. How cool is that?!

So similar, right?

So similar, right?

Love it or Hate it?

I always love a bright room, and I love mixing colors and patterns. But is it livable for everyday?
Pros: patterns hide stains or dirt, you can get away with plain walls without having a boring room
Cons: you might get sick of it quickly, visual overload.
What do you think?


Knowing When to Quit: Not All Projects Are a Success

See the differences in color? Yikes!

See the differences in color? Yikes!

So I found this table on the “free” section of Craigslist. It was kept outside, and it was not an outside table. Warped, moldy, and black, I had my work cut out for me.
I scrubbed and scrubbed, bleached the top, sanded it down, and got to staining.
To tell you the truth, I was putting off the staining part. The wood was in awful shape, and even after the bleaching and sanding, the colors were uneven. Having not used stain before (hey, I’m a color girl!) I wasn’t sure if it would hide the differences in color. Well, it didn’t.
I am going to attempt another coat or two, but may end up scrapping this project. Sometimes, you just need to know when to quit.

Curb Alert: Gated Entries in West Hollywood

Isn’t there just something mysterious a gate? You never really know what’s on the other side. They can be inviting, foreboding, or pretty, or ugly, but one thing’s for sure– they make a huge difference in your “curb appeal” and can change the feel of coming home.

Saw this gate in West Hollywood, fell in love. The home's owner told me a friend gave it to her and that it was really old. She didn't seem to care about its beauty-- she simply wanted to keep folks out of her back yard.

Saw this charming gate in West Hollywood, fell in love. The home’s owner told me a friend gave it to her and that it was really old. She didn’t seem to care about its beauty– she simply wanted to keep folks out of her back yard.

This beauty had serious style. It reminded me of the South of France. Love the vines with the iron. Not much privacy,  but once the plants grow a bit, it will be GORGEOUS!

This beauty had serious style. It reminded me of the South of France. Love the vines with the iron. Not much privacy, but once the plants grow a bit, it will be GORGEOUS!

Ever since my parents moved to Santa Fe, I've been pretty much obsessed with anything even remotely mission inspired. I love this gate even more because it reminds me of Canterbury Tales.

Ever since my parents moved to Santa Fe, I’ve been pretty much obsessed with anything even remotely mission inspired. I love this gate even more because it reminds me of Canterbury Tales.


Trend Report: Two Tone Treasures

I’ve come across two different two tone pieces in the past month or so… and think they’re totally going to be the new thing. It’s really a lovely look for a guest room, for a guy’s room, or if you just want to make a statement.

Best of all? It’s a totally easy update for rehabbers at any level!

Love the legs and the shape.

Love the legs and the shape of this dresser at the Fairfax Flea Market. At $125, it’s kind of a lot. I mean, a good rehabber could get something like this at a yard sale or Goodwill and paint it for less than half the price. Plus, the top of this one was a scratched up mess. 

Forget about rehabbing an entire piece, just paint the trim, change the knobs, and you’re good to go! For a piece that’s more plain or doesn’t have trim, you can create the look with painter’s tape.

Two Tone Dresser at Rosebowl

This dresser (from the Rosebowl Flea Market) was black and white. The lighting and my bad photography skills make it look pink, which wouldn’t be all that bad, if you ask me. I think it would be AWESOME if you painted the black parts navy and gave it a nautical flare.

Wait and see, this look will be EVERYWHERE by next year. It’s a simple (and inexpensive!) way to update a classic, make a statement, and give your room some pizzaz.


Lots of them going on…

I’ve been re-tooling and repainting the table trays. Adding accents, changing around the colors, etc. More pictures up soon, I promise!

I’ve been stenciling away on my side table. Wow- stenciling is WAY harder than I expected. Mainly because it requires a lot of patience, which I am short on! But it is going to be so gratifying to finally finish, and I’m already OBSESSED with the direction the side table is headed.

I have a table and set of six chairs that I’ve been working on between projects for about five months. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long. These suckers have to get outta my house– they’re positively taking over my living room! 

Speaking of living room…

I’ve been obsessed re-doing the whole thing. Yeah, I may be moving anytime now since school is about to start, but who cares? I’ve been looking for a slipcover for my couch (which sounds a lot easier than it is.) If you have any suggestions, please, please, please let me know!

I ended up finding one at Ikea (the devil!) that matched the measurements of my couch, but once I lugged it home, the arms were too short (rats!) Returning the thing was much harder than actually buying it. Has anyone else noticed that there are so many people “working” at Ikea, but there are only ever 1-2 that seem to actually be doing much?