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Our chairs are back from our favorite upholsterers, and we couldn’t love them more! Although there was a bit of an outcry to keep the mustard fabric (and believe us, we have nothing against yellow), we went with our gut and stuck with a durable Sunbrella fabric in Frequency Ash. Not only was the original upholstery nubby, scratchy and well loved, it felt a bit too much like all the colors! when paired with our blue sofa and predominantly red/pink rug.

But look! So streamlined!


We asked the upholsterers to leave the legs alone, but as soon as they made their way back into our home, we buffed out scratches with a touch of Restor-A-Finish, fussed with a couple of the bent metal tips and finished them off by applying non-slip pads. The piping along every seam is truly perfection, and the slight slub texture to the fabric adds a little something extra – just a teeny step up from plain, old gray.


A while back, we also purchased this rug for our nook during a sale, and although it was on back order for over a month, it finally arrived! We had picked it out with our new-to-us chairs in mind, and they play nicely together, don’t you think? My only complaint is that the gray is much more blue in person, which is highlighted by the blue-ish light we receive from that north facing window. We don’t plan on our green velvet chair staying there (that room has had quite a round of musical chairs!), rather, we think it’ll live in the guest room. And although we stuck it in the nook to get it out of our way while we repair drywall, we were surprised that we sort of liked it! So, who knows. That room is very much a work in progress!


The living room is shaping up, but there are still a handful of tweaks/needs: proper end tables, a substantial plant (or two?) and perhaps a lamp (or two). We’ve never been huge fans of having stuff all about, so while I feel like the media console and coffee table could use something, we’re still toying with the idea of what. (Aside from the occasional vase of flowers or candles, you know?)

In any case, we’re being careful to not force anything that doesn’t feel right, which is likely why the large main spaces in our home – living, dining and studio – are evolving so slowly. And we’re okay with that!

  • Laura @ Rather Square - October 2, 2014 - 6:51 AM

    The chairs turned out great! And I love the blue-green tones going on on the nook – it seems very calming and cozy in there.ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne - October 2, 2014 - 8:01 AM

    Those chairs look amazing! I really love watching your rooms evolve slowly. It makes me feel better about my decisions (and changes and more changes) that I always seem to make to a space. READ: I’m not crazy!ReplyCancel

  • K Frer - cozycapecottage - October 2, 2014 - 8:42 AM

    Great fabric choice! I think you’re totally right, the texture really does make them feel pretty sophisticated. I’ll have to file it away if I take on another upholstery project someday!ReplyCancel

  • ann - October 2, 2014 - 8:58 AM

    love the chairs! and as soon as the guest list has our names on it the parents will come visit.ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - October 2, 2014 - 9:10 AM

    The first photo with the plaid throw draped just so had me. I’m in love.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 9:57 AM

      Nothing solves too many patterns like more patterns! Rug, throw, pillows. Somehow, we think it works.ReplyCancel

  • allison h - October 2, 2014 - 9:13 AM

    Those look amazing! I have a pair of red/orange chairs very similar to these that were my grandparents. I have held off on recovering for sentimental purposes.. but these turned out so great that it motivates me to take the leap and recover!! Love that fabric!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 9:56 AM

      I understand being hesitant to take the leap for sentimental reasons, but I bet it will be worth it, and you’ll love it so much more! We got a chair from my grandma (that was a wedding gift to my grandparents), they recovered it maybe 20 years later, and most recently, we recovered it to a peachy fabric (it used to live in our old studio):

      I showed it to my grandma when it was done, and she almost cried! In other words, go for it, give it a new life, and every time you sit in them, hold on to those memories.ReplyCancel

  • Erin@Suburban Bitches - October 2, 2014 - 10:02 AM

    Those chairs look great! Much better than the original fabric and I am surprised that Sunbrella makes fabric that look so good (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). And since I love to give out my opinion, what about a pair of plug in sconces on the side of the tv? Something cool like ones from Schoolhouse Electric? Though that white thing on the side of the tv might prohibit that.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 10:10 AM

      Haha, I had to laugh at “white thing,” as those are our speakers that was QUITE the dilemma when figuring out the sound system last year! Love the idea of sconces as well, but perhaps we can rethink sconces for the sides of our couch?! That could be neat. (And LOVE Schoolhouse, obviously.)ReplyCancel

      • Erin@Suburban Bitches - October 2, 2014 - 4:09 PM

        Oh yes, sconces on the side of the couch would be great too! I’m pretty much pushing Schoolhouse Electric sconces on anyone who will listen because I can’t find the right spot for them in my house but I LUV them!ReplyCancel

  • Staci @ My Friend Staci - October 2, 2014 - 11:07 AM

    Oh, man! This rules, and the view from the blue couch into the nook, plus the gallery wall, is perfection! I want to hang out in your house so bad!ReplyCancel

  • julie - October 2, 2014 - 11:36 AM

    Everything old is new again — best thing about reupholstering is that you get a classic, well-built piece of furniture and yet with some new fabric it becomes made just for you. Hooray, they look fantastic!

    Thanks for the part in the previous post about the scratch test. I have a couple of chairs that I have wanted two recover but I was afraid to for fear of the furry squatters in my house recreating them in their taste.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 2:37 PM

      No problem! I should also admit… just last night, it survived a red wine spill with no issues! This fabric is a champ.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - October 2, 2014 - 11:44 AM

    The living room looks freaking awesome!! I’m a huge fan of mustard but I agree that with the couch and rug it would have been waaaay too much. Ahhhh I just love your guys’ whole aesthetic so much! The house is looking amazing!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 12:05 PM

      Thanks, guys! Rachel, yeah, it’s definitely an outside-of-our-comfort-zone aesthetic, but we’re having fun experimenting!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - October 2, 2014 - 12:34 PM

    I absolutely adore the chairs and love the fact that Sunbrella is now making such great/simple options. BUT, I’m mainly commenting because I have to know where the cat pillow is from?! It’s unbelievable.

    I love your style.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 12:45 PM

      Isn’t it hilarious?! I got it from H&M a long, long time ago, but it doesn’t look like they sell it anymore, sadly.ReplyCancel

  • Nikky - October 2, 2014 - 12:43 PM

    I love, love, love the fabric you chose for the chairs and how well it coordinates with the blue velvet couch I adore.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - October 2, 2014 - 1:09 PM

    I love that smooshy-face cat pillow. Remember where it was from?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 1:59 PM

      We picked it up from H&M a long time ago – sadly, it doesn’t look available anymore.ReplyCancel

  • Liz - October 2, 2014 - 8:08 PM

    Those chairs turned out incredible! Did they have to replace the seat cushions or were you able to use the ones that were on the chairs?

    I have two 1960s chairs to recover in a threadbare silk fabric but I can already see that the foam has turned orange and is disintegrating underneath and it will all have to be replaced, adding to the cost! Why oh why is it so expensive to reupholster stuff??

    On another note, where did you order the Sunbrella fabric from?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 3, 2014 - 8:59 AM

      Once they got them completely uncovered, it was obvious they needed to replace all the foam as well, which added $50 to the upholstery cost for reach chair. It was a bummer, BUT by replacing all the foam, the old musty smell went away once and for all! We picked up the fabric from, but I don’t see it on their site anymore. At the time, it was much less expensive than the same fabric from!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie @ Pebbledashedpad - October 3, 2014 - 1:19 AM

    I love them!! I have three junk shop chairs I’d like recovered and have been holding back terrified of cost and also a bit at sea regarding what kind of fabric/colours I should go with. I’ve got some pics here….if you have any advice/suggestions I’d be all ears!

    (I’m based in London though so sadly can’t nick the name of your upholsterer!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 3, 2014 - 8:54 AM

      Those are all so beautiful! Because they’re all such classic shapes, I’d stick with a subtle solid colored fabric (in other words, no geometric prints or loud colors) – but that’s just what I would do! Go with YOUR gut ;)ReplyCancel

  • Tori - October 3, 2014 - 8:20 AM

    It looks great you guys! The room is really coming together. I like the green chair in the nook because it is so monochrome with the paint color. Looks cool!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - October 3, 2014 - 1:17 PM

    the chairs look fantastic!!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - October 3, 2014 - 5:57 PM

    So lovely! The new fabric really helps to show off the shape – the curve of the back when seen from the side is so unusual!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel @ My Two Pitties - October 4, 2014 - 4:41 PM

    They look awesome! Love the whole room, those are totally my favorite colors! Love the artwork too:)ReplyCancel

  • KRT - October 5, 2014 - 8:58 PM

    Hey guys! Love the chairs so much! Question about pets: do your dogs jump up and put their paws on your nice, new, white window sills? How do you pet proof everything from claws/paw prints? Our dog knows better than to do it when we are home, but when we’re gone the rules go out the window!ReplyCancel

    • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode - October 6, 2014 - 7:45 AM

      Hey KRT – I’m not Kim, but your problem is one I’m so familiar with! Because I’ve always rented, I’ve had to be super careful about dog claws on window sills. Years ago I actually trained my dogs to step their front feet up onto a little foot stool so they could see out without having to be on the window sill. It worked like a charm! I can share a link to a little video post about how I did it, if Kim is ok with that. I don’t want to hijack her comment thread :)ReplyCancel

      • Kim - October 6, 2014 - 10:43 AM

        Jane, please share the link! KRT, we don’t have too many issues, but of course we need to wipe them down when we clean other areas of the home. I like Jane’s idea though!ReplyCancel

  • Jean - October 6, 2014 - 9:50 AM

    I just had to chime in to say I love the shape of these chairs, and the fabric you picked out with that texture is just perfect. Love watching your space come together!ReplyCancel



With the exception of Sunday morning, we spent the entire (and I mean entire) weekend prepping the guest room walls for paint, installing door and window trim and going back and forth between two almost identical paint colors. (Oh, and Scott took a 2 hour break to dig a trench in the back yard, you know, the usual.) It’s amazing how much longer painting a teeny room can take in a house of this age! Remember the gold old days of condo life? Deciding to paint a room, completing the task in 2 hours and calling it a day? Aah. In any case, we’ll be sanding/mudding/patching/mudding/sanding for the remainder of the week, and fingers crossed we can start painting and wallpapering (!) soon.

But what I really came here to say was want to see our flea finds? Sunday morning, we set our alarms for 4:45 AM and were on the road to the Elkhorn Flea by 5:15. When we arrived at 7 on the nose, we were among the first ones inside, and by 10:30, we were wrapping up, grabbing lunch and heading back to Chicago. While it wasn’t a Big Haul excursion, we did come home with a handful of treats – so let’s go!

1. On our list of hope-to-finds was an alarm clock for the guest room. Something adorable and something that works, and this one fit the bill. There might be a dead bug (or two, I think?) stuck inside, but nothing a cleaning can’t fix! Bonus: the gold accent works with our wallpaper choice, too.


2 and 5. Fleece lined mittens for me (some girls hoard shoes, I hoard mittens) and a little pipe for Scott. Ever since our friend Grandpa Pete started hand-crafting pipes, the boys like to talk bicycles and car parts (or something) over new and vintage pipes alike.

3. This was absolutely an impulse buy, but staying true to our love of all things brassy and gold, we couldn’t pass him up! The wing span is actually quite large – maybe around 16 inches? – and there are two small holes for wall mounting. We thought this could be a fun and quirky touch in the guest room – somewhere.


4. My love of vintage frames knows no bounds, and after I got an itch to shake things up with our living room gallery wall, I had the perfect excuse to hunt down a few more. While we both love the look of the all white Ribba frames, some of the older ones are starting to sag, so I convinced Scott that a bit of contrast could do us good. I’m looking forward to growing and tweaking the current wall, because goodness knows it’s obviously very important. (Ha!)


6. We felt we hit the jackpot with this one! After seeing this wall mounted storage desk at West Elm, we agreed that something similar would be perfect for the guest room. It’d be a place to allow our guests to rest their laptops while providing some hidden storage for pens and notepads – but it needed to be small, as the room is quite snug. We weren’t even five minutes into browsing when Scott spotted this old school desk (sans stand), and $25 later, it was coming home with us. What are the odds? Yes!


All of our shiny little treasures still need a good cleaning, but we think they’ll polish up nice, right? And although we were hoping to find the just-right-credenza for our dining room, I’d say we did pretty good!

PS! Installing an exterior light is easier than you may think, and now’s the time to knock out your outdoor to do list. We’re sharing the how-to over at the Angie’s List blog today!

  • K Frer - cozycapecottage - September 30, 2014 - 7:07 AM

    I could have sworn I saw you there! We arrived around 10, so it might have been! We didn’t do nearly as well. It was much hotter than I’d anticipated – and dressed for. Add to that the huge crowds and overwhelming amount to look at on top of a bit of a sour mood… Well that’s not a recipe for success. Oh well , maybe next year!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 30, 2014 - 9:44 AM

      Oh, no, I wish you had said hello! It did get really hot, but luckily we brought along a back pack for our extra layers. The weather in the Midwest is just so moody… 50 degrees at the start, but near 80 by the time we left!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - September 30, 2014 - 8:40 AM

    Love all the treasures you found.ReplyCancel

  • abigail - September 30, 2014 - 8:50 AM

    great finds! Love the clock sad i didn’t make the trek!ReplyCancel

  • ten - September 30, 2014 - 9:24 AM

    Those frames are so lovely! I love that ghostly photo of the woman in the art deco style frame – I hope you keep her. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 30, 2014 - 9:43 AM

      Yeah, she is pretty awesome! Maybe we will keep her as-is in the end.ReplyCancel

  • AnnMarie - September 30, 2014 - 10:28 AM

    Those are definitely treasures! Though my favorites are the clock and the desk — the desk! I bemoan the flea/thrift situation here — it seems like every thrift store in SLC Is extremely picked-over, but maybe I just lack “the eye”. So I’ll live vicariously through you guys. ^_^ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - September 30, 2014 - 10:35 AM

    Sounds like a fun trip. One of these days we’ll go to this, I’m so curious about it. Love the frames and the alarm clock!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - September 30, 2014 - 12:50 PM

    I would totally carve my initials in that desk… ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 30, 2014 - 4:12 PM

      Oh, man, we really should! How cute!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - September 30, 2014 - 2:52 PM

    Great finds! I’d love to see the eagle about the door frame :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 30, 2014 - 4:13 PM

      At first, we thought about doing that in our entryway, but it felt a little too Americana or something (because of all the navy doors). Love that idea though!ReplyCancel

  • Kates - October 6, 2014 - 4:02 PM

    I spent all day at Elkhorn with my mom, aunt and cousin and we had a blast. Found tons of great stuff. I didn’t buy that much. It was my first trip so I didn’t know what to expect but I will be there next year to find some great things!ReplyCancel



I wanted to slip in a little Pet Shop update after the (very, very good!) insanity that has been this past week. By noon on the first day of our birthday celebration, we sold well over half of my custom work allotment for the remainder of the year. Throughout the day and over night, the orders continued to trickle in, and before the end of the work day on Tuesday, I had reached my max number of custom portraits possible for delivery before December 25th.

In our 4 years of business, we had never reached the sell-out limit in September; you all rocked our world. Now, I’ll admit I’m a complete mushball about this, but I want you to really understand how much that means to me – to us! (CC models our sentiments of overwhelming happiness exactly.) Back in August, I went over my current list of outstanding orders, and then I flipped through my calendar, page-by-page, and carefully counted the total number of portraits I could physically complete in time for that big, red date in December. Every year I do this, and every year I hope to have my order-ducks-in-a-row by the end of October. And this year? Well, this year, you got us all hot and flustered in the best possible way.

Now what?

While our custom portraiture listings have been deactivated until January, there are still two ways to stay pet happy as we dive into this holiday season:

  • GIFT CERTIFICATES.* If you were hoping to surprise your mom/crazy uncle/BFF with custom artwork of their pet – because let’s be honest, you could milk that awesome gift giving prowess for all of Christmas Day – you still can! Our gift certificates are completely customizable, ad-lib style, and once redeemed, the giftee will be able to go through the art making process one-on-one.


  • 2015 PRE-ORDER. If all your requests for a painting of the best dog ever have consistently been denied, we encourage you to treat yourself! Pre-order portraits will be among the first to ship in the new year, cutting your turnaround time in half – and, of course, give you an extra sweet treat to look forward to. In the meantime, pat yourself on your pro-active back, pour yourself a pumpkin-spiced something or other and allow yourself to get caught up in the soon-to-be holiday rush. Go, you.

I’ll pipe down all the shop talk now, and we’ll kick back into our regular routine next week. We hope you have a happy weekend, thank you all (!) and hey, don’t forget that this Sunday is Elkhorn’s last market of the season! That 5AM alarm can’t come soon enough. (Like, seriously. Locals, go!)

*We kindly ask that you purchase GCs as intended, rather than a roundabout way to redeem and cross your fingers for Christmas delivery. But seeing as you all are exceptionally fine folk, we know you wouldn’t do that. xx

  • Jean - September 26, 2014 - 10:07 AM

    This is so awesome for you! We missed the sale (and the year, apparently!) to get our other boxer done, but maybe I can convince someone that what we really need for Christmas is a gift card :-) PS – thanks again for your amazing work on our Lily portrait. Every day it makes me smile!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 26, 2014 - 10:12 AM

      Aw, I loved painting Lily! Those little bottom teeth still kill me. I’m crossing my fingers for a gift certificate under the tree for you…ReplyCancel

  • Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room} - September 26, 2014 - 10:10 AM

    It’s SOO awesome that you sold out! I didn’t even have time to post it to my Facebook page and encourage friends to get in on this deal. If we get a puppy (a definitely possibility next year), we’ll have to sign up ASAP ;)ReplyCancel

  • Jane - September 26, 2014 - 10:14 AM

    This is amazing and awesome. I’m so happy for you! And selfishly happy that I squeezed my Charlie in before you sold out. #hoorayimpulsebuyReplyCancel

  • Nayla - September 26, 2014 - 1:09 PM

    We are in desperate need of an edger. I tried using a shovel, thinking it wasn’t worth buying ANOTHER tool- wrong. Springing for an edger next Spring!ReplyCancel