New Dining Room Chairs

After slapping on a fresh coat of neutral paint in the dining room, the space was looking a little bland. Ok, really bland.

This was before the lighting switch I blogged about here.
I've always wanted to recover our dining room chairs but haven't been sure what fabric to use. Traditional pattern? Modern? Color? Neutral? Ah I couldn't commit! However, with this very bland dining room, my need for some color helped me narrow my options. I needed some punch/pizzazz but nothing too crazy. I didn't want to feel the need to match my table linens to my chairs. I'm crazy like that.

So I dug around on my favorite discount fabric site,! I love that site. They have a great mix of styles and have the lowest prices I can find. Before you ask, no I'm not being paid or perked by the site. I wish.... I genuinely love this site! I found this lovely pattern called Waverly Square Root Sterling.

If you like this pattern, get it here!
I think the yellow and gray combo is the right mix of fun color while still being kinda in the neutral family. Plus, I think that's a trendy color combo right now. Or maybe that was last season? I've never been great with trends. This pattern comes in a pink and orange combo, blue and green, and a black and gray mix. Those links aren't all from Sometimes has them in stock, sometimes they don't.

After I got my fabric in the mail (side-note, isn't receiving a package in the mail an awesome feeling?), I was excited to get started. I used my nifty new screw gun to remove the seats from the chairs.

We bought ours from Lowe's and it's been working out well. It is not the most powerful drill but it has awesome battery life and works great for little projects like this. I imagine it would be great for assembling furniture too.

There are about a million chair recovering tutorials out there, so I won't get too detailed about each step. It's pretty straight foward.

1. Cut a piece of your fabric that will fit around your cushion with some overlap.

2. Iron your swatch of fabric so you don't have any annoying creases in your seat. That would not be fancy.

3. Place your seat cushion face down on top of your fabric, making sure you center it with enough overlap to go all the way around. Always check before you staple because it just makes life easier!

4. Put one staple in on one side.

Putting your first staple in the center is your best bet.

5. Then, pull the fabric taut from the opposite side you just stapled and add a staple to that side. The trick to get it right is pulling your fabric nice and tight, but not so tight you strain/rip the fabric.

Can I tell you how difficult it is to take picture and staple at the same time? IT'S HARD YA'LL. Which is why I'm not actually stapling at this moment. That's right. The shot is staged. It's all fake! Smoke and mirrors! The cake is a lie!!
6. Keep stapling around the seat, switching to opposite sides and pulling the fabric taut. Don't hesitate to flip the cushion over the check the state of your pattern. Remember, it's much easier to take out five staples instead of fifty!

7. Once you fabric is stapled down, just reattach your seat to your chair and prest chango columbo, you have a new chair!

I timed it, by the way. It took my 5:09.5 minutes to recover one chair, with no picture taking and one stop to break up a cat and dog fight. If you hate doing math and trust mine (which is not a great idea but I get it you're brave), it took me less than 30 minutes to do four chairs. I added some time for blogging and refereeing.

I love a good before and after!


I think the dining room is looking much brighter and happier!

Except that these pics were taken at night. Details, details...
I also picked up this new gray runner and a yellow one from because, apparently, I'm on a gray and yellow kick.

I'm adding more color and brightness to the dining room soon by way of new fabric for the bench cushions. I can't wait! It's sooooo pretty, kids. And I just waved my freak flag by become giddy about fabric. Oh how far I've come.


Stop the Search Party I'm Still Alive

I guess, since this is a DIY blog and all, I could post something DIY related.
Even though I haven’t been posting DIY stuff (what will all of the pets and anniversaries and whatnot), I promise you that things have been going on in Casa Comeaux of the home improvement variety. Husband and I have been wrapping up some projects around the condo because we want to put it on the market ASAP. We keep seeing homes go on the market and we’re like, OOooOO! Look how pretty! Too bad we can’t get attached because it will probably be sold before we can even list our place!
You may think we’re being dramatic but that exact scenario has happened to us a few times already. Husband has shown me listings to ask what I think about them and I tell him, I can’t fall in love again. It hurts too much.
We’ve been working non-stop to whittle down our list. We had a couple of weekends where no progress was made, even though we worked our buns off. The beginning of April was a very frustrating time for us. So frustrating that one weekend I just crapped out. I did nothing. I felt like nothing. I laid in bed most of the day on Saturday and felt very blah. There is no better way to describe it other than…blah. Do you ever get that way? Do you just gas yourself out so that you have nothing left to give? I couldn’t even blog, even though there were things to blog about because, did I mention we were always working?
Well, now we are on the other side of our to do list (meaning more things done than to do) and things are looking up! So here’s a little wrap up of what we’ve accomplished to help keep me motivated in these last few weeks. These kinds of posts help remind me that progress is being made and helps with my blahs. These are just a few things little things we’ve done to the condo.

We patched a hole in our wall. I won’t go into details about how the hole came about (for Husband’s sake) but we required some plumbing work in the kitchen a long time ago and we took a long time to fix the hole. The hole is under the built in desk in our living room and behind Ty’s kennel. So, it wasn't visible at all. Out of sight out of mind, right? Potential buyers may not agree or like having a giant hole in their living room so it had to be fixed. Husband’s friend, Adam, came over and showed us how to do a floating patch. It’s a fairly easy process.
This is Adam. Everyone say hi!
You take a piece of drywall and mark how big your patch should be. You want to make these marks so that this square will fit easily inside the hole. You may even want to cut your hole in the wall a little bigger or straighter to make floating the patch easier.

Next, you need to make a second set of marks about an inch or so outside of your initial marks. This is going to be your “tape,” I guess you could call it.
Here's a little diagram from Adam to help illustrate your marks and what they do.
Using a saw, cut out the larger square. Then, using a box cutter or exacto knife, cut through the drywall paper on one side of your smaller square. Likea so…

Once you make these cuts, you can break and peel off the drywall bits while still leaving the tape.

This is what you end up with.

Then, you use some mud and the drywall tape to float the patch inside the hole. You want to apply mud a little farther out than your patch so you can blend it in more easily. Smooth out the mud as much as you can so you can do less sanding later on. Please note, this patch will not be strong enough for hanging a picture or shelf or anything. This patch works perfect for this spot though. I don’t plan on putting any pictures down there.
Ty wants to become a DIY dog so he's learning the ropes.
Once the mud fully dries, you can lightly sand and paint it. Be sure to paint farther out from your patch to help it blend!
Can't even tell! Except for the missing molding, which is on the To Do list.
Viola! All done. Thanks Adam!

Some other things around the abode include:
·         Putting a fresh coat of paint on the patio furniture.

I originally posted about all of the work we did here but some cracking and peeling had occurred since then. I wanted everything freshly painted so the patio wouldn’t look cracked or peeling. I even sanded and primed the loungers! Yay for proper prep work!
I mostly did these extra steps because I got a hand sander for Christmas and was dying to finally try it out. Whatever works, eh?

·         We finally fixed Husband’s closet doors and cleaned the junk out. It still needs a little sprucing up but it's a big improvement. More details to come!

·         We fixed a hole in our ceiling.
I promise it came out better than this.
Yet again, more holes. I promise our condo isn't falling apart. This was another hole that hung around for months before we finally fixed it. I may post more in-depth about this project because what should have been a quick fix, took several weekends to finish. Ack.

·         I painted the cabinets in our bathrooms. Same color, just a fresh coat. The cabinets had some chips and dings but nothing a fresh coat of clean paint couldn't fix!

Freshly painted cabinet in our half bath!

Refreshed cabinet in my bathroom!

·         We changed out our dining room light.

The Before
Our previous light was off center and really low. It drove me crazy. Not only did it look off, but anyone over 5’9” would run into it. I would give you a step by step tutorial about how we changed out our light by ourselves but I can’t. Because the entire time we were working on it, I was like this:
Via here
Yeah I had no idea what was going on. Husband has messed with electrical stuff before but even he was confused. Turns out, these were “easy” installation instructions and we were thrown off. And by we, I mean Husband had never seen anything like it before and I was useless. Seriously, at one point, Husband looked at me and said, “Quit just standing there and hand me the screw driver.”
That might seem harsh but I was no help whatsoever.  Zip zilch NADA. I actually got in the way a bit.
Even though I took pictures of the process, I don’t feel comfortable trying to give anyone any kind of instructions. Although our house hasn't burned down, I’m still not confident about what I learned. It’s cool though because we have fire monitoring at home.
I’m happy with the results though! This may not be the light fixture I would choose for our forever home but it will certainly do for our let’s-just-list-the-damn-place-already home.
 It's also the closest match to our existing fixtures, which we are not about to switch out.

·         I changed our entryway to look more like an entryway. Our old set up worked ok but never great for me. It also didn’t look like your standard entryway.

I thought a bench would be the best way to show, hey you CAN fit an entryway in this dining room. I found this awesome one at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $80 ($64 with a coupon!). It has three cubbies and two lift up seats with more storage.

I also picked up a hook rack for coats and such. I really like our new entryway and it’s easier for me to toss my bags on the bench and they still look neat. I plan on recovering the cushions so the room isn’t so beige. I know we wanted this room to be more nuetral but there is a limit for us.
I just ordered some bright and fun fabric to cover the cushions. I can't wait to share the results!

That's just some of the stuff that has been going on while I took an unintentional blogging hiatus! Those seem to happen a lot lately. Don't judge.
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