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Blog — "furniture"

Design a Day Challenge: Day 31 & 32

Heidi Shenk "cards" "challenge" "design a day" "design" "furniture" "projects" "stationery"

I may be a bit behind the times in posting this, but I've continued on with my Design a Day Challenge. I will post for Friday and Saturday now and hopefully be back later with something splendid for today. It has been one crazy past few days. First, on Friday, I decided that it made perfect sense to sit in 98 degree (106 degree heat index) weather for 3 hours at Oriole Park for the O's vs Angels game. To make matters worse, our closing pitcher gave up a grand slam in the top of the 9th inning making me wonder even more if even the super cheap $6 ticket I bought using my outdated student ID was even worth it.

Follow that up with Saturday spent in 102 degree (114 degree heat index) weather at a stone and masonry store trying to pick out pavers for our back yard. Andrew decided it was a good idea to keep going back and forth from one section to the next in the blazing sun for about an hour and a half-- of course at the hottest time of day at that! After our masonry adventures, in which I inevitably picked out the most expensive thing, we had planned to go order new dining room chairs. So we had to take our sweaty selves to a super classy furniture store in which the woman helping us proceeded to tell us that she was recently married. In addition, her new husband had just given her a blank check for furniture for their 3rd home (5,400 sq ft of it) in which she spent $20,000. AND that was the third blank check he had given her. Meanwhile, I had sweated my butt off at the stone store and looked a hot, sunburned mess-- she probably thought I was far from classy enough to be purchasing dining room chairs from her.

Needless to say, after all of that, I was done and didn't really feel like sitting near a heat generating computer to upload these fabulous designs:







Two totally different styles of designs, but I love them both! Hopefully that was worth having to read through my furniture lady story! Happy lazy Sunday everyone!

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The End of the Chair Saga

Heidi Shenk "chair" "design" "furniture" "projects" "upholstery"

Finally it is complete. That old olive colored chair which had seen better days is now a fresh teal, super contemporary accent chair that is begging to be sat upon. I must admit, it turned out a thousand times better than I had ever hoped. The hardest part, no doubt, was fastening the leather accent buttons to the seat back. This was done with some help from Andrew and a complete McGyver technique in which we taped the upholstery string to a piece of wire which was then threaded through to the back.

In order to make sure the thread knots that I tied in the back did not pull through our chip board backing, I used two leftover buttons as a backing before tying the knot. Nothing pretty of course, just two buttons from our stash of extras that are saved for that unfortunate incident when you pull your pants out of the dryer, only to realize they are now buttonless. And in the end, our technique stands up to our tests of sitting down into the chair in the bounciest ways possible. Luckily all of Andrew's handy man (or as he calls them, handy Andy) tricks have been concealed with the final backing of fabric.

In the process of making a new cushion, I lined the old springs with burlap and then covered that with the seat cushion before adding the final upholstery. All in all, our final product is spectacular-- keeping to the old chair's vintage look, yet adding a modern and contemporary flair. And of course, now for the obligatory before and after photos. Enjoy!

After
Before

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The Chair Saga | Pearls and Butterflies

Heidi Shenk "cards" "chair" "crafts" "furniture" "projects" "upholstery"

I spent a good portion of today designing and working on my chair project. Andrew had gone into the office to work on drawing for their latest deadline and I was at home by myself on a lazy Sunday. Obviously that meant I had to do some sort of crafting to fill up my time! I spent the morning sanding and refinishing the legs of the old vintage chair that I wrote about yesterday. It is coming along quite nicely. I used a dark walnut finish that turned out amazingly! I am still debating whether or not to do another coat, but I have decided that I would like a bit of sheen instead of the matte finish I had originally planned.

I have decided that the easiest parts are now finished. I am most concerned that when it comes to cutting and fitting the new upholstery fabric I am going to fail horribly. Andrew continues to tell me that the chair is going to turn out to be amazing, yet I continue to remind him that there is still plenty of time for me to royally screw up! This is my first go at reupholstering an old piece of furniture. I have no fear when it comes to woodworking aspects. After all, my father is a woodworker and luthier so I learned many tricks of the trade from him. And now that I think about it, I guess I am fairly decent behind a sewing machine so I am not sure what my worry is. I think it is just the perfectionist in me that does not want to fail when the potential outcome could be that awesome.

After I finished working on the chair for the day, I spent some time making a new set of note cards. I recently found some rather elegant satin ribbon that featured butterflies. I decided to pair the ribbon with some pearlized card stock that I had purchased. I was rather pleased with the final outcome-- a very elegant yet simple note card. The cards are vertical in orientation with the fold at the top rather than horizontal. I don't think that I would choose these cards for myself-- they're almost too girlie for me. However, I am still happy with the end result from a design standpoint. The cards remind me of pearls so I've dubbed them Pearls and Butterflies-- how lady-like!

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Reupholstering an Old Find

Heidi Shenk "chair" "furniture" "projects" "upholstery"

When my sister was in high school she found an old vintage chair to use as a desk chair at a Goodwill store.  I can't imagine that she purchased it for more than several dollars if I remember correctly. After she moved to Colorado, she left the chair in my parent's house in Indiana. Each year that I visited my parents, my dad would ask if I had any interest in the chair as it sat forlornly in their spare bedroom. Knowing that my sister would not want it any longer, I decided to take it on as a project. After Andrew inspected the chair, he decided that he absolutely wanted it-- he thought it was fun in its old vintage character. So when my parents drove down to Baltimore this Christmas, they brought with them the chair.

Last weekend I went to Joann Fabric to pick up some new upholstery fabric and a few buttons. I chose out a light teal fabric with the same sort of vintage appeal of the old olive green fabric. I also picked out two dark leather buttons as accents that will match the dark walnut finish that I picked up for refinishing the legs. On Tuesday, during our latest snow day, I began sanding the legs and taking out the upholstery tacks. I have only gotten this far at this point as the current stuffing was in very bad shape. I was hoping to reuse the stuffing, but now find myself off to the fabric store again to pick up new foam for the chair.  So before I leave, I will leave you with a few photos of my project thus far.

The chair in its original state.

Post removal of the old upholstery fabric.

New fabric and buttons to be used.

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