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Sometimes, life can hit you from all angles – hard.

This is one of those times for us. Some things are good (a busy, busy time for the Shop, holiday fuzzies and warm nights with friends), whereas some we’d much rather kick to the curb and squish. But when it all comes raining in at the same time – the really good mixed with those jerks, the bad and sad – the going gets tough.

The great thing about penning your own blog is that you can curate it as you like. And for us, we like to keep this is a positive place – we like to give, share and receive inspiration; we wish to keep this virtual home cheerful. However, the last handful of weeks have been challenging for us on a personal level, but the good news is that our own little family is healthy. The girls spend their days napping, Jack is my constant companion in the studio, and we spend our evenings within these four walls together. What’s better than that?

Our recent roadblocks have inadvertently put our home-y to-dos on hold – just for a bit. We’ve still got lists (oh, boy, do we!), and we’re so looking forward to all the joys this time of year brings. With that said, we still have a few smaller projects we’re looking forward to sharing (as soon as we edit photos!), but we also need a short moment to take a family time-out. To break.

In the meantime, we‘ll still be here, but we have other fun items lined up – a Pet Shop promo (tomorrow – stay tuned!), a fun giveaway in time for Cyber Monday and an updated tour on Apartment Therapy!

Phew. And if you’ve taken a moment to read our little brain purge, thank you. We’re not going far, and certainly not for long. You know we’ll be itching to share a few of our tweak-y changes (very) soon.

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - November 19, 2012 - 8:19 AM

    Hi Kim and Scott!

    As much as I appreciate you keeping your site positive and cheery – please know this reader is open to reading hard stuff you two might be going through too.

    That said, certainly understand that you might not want to share some stuff with the world.

    So, all I’m saying – in a confusing and round about way – is I’m with you no matter what!

    Take care!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - November 19, 2012 - 9:06 AM

    Friend, I’m sorry. But, at the same time I am excited for all the good that is going on with you, too! A couple weeks ago, we had similar hard-things-hitting-us problems and I realized I needed a breath and a break. You’re in my thoughts and I am keeping my eyes open for your new AT tour! EEEeeee!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Heather {ModernMealsforTwo} - November 19, 2012 - 9:16 AM

    Sounds like you’re going through a rough patch. I think it’s totally normal to want to keep negativity off your blog. You’ve created a happy space here :) I hope your break is restful! I’ll be here eagerly awaiting your updates when you come back.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 19, 2012 - 11:59 AM

    Thank you for the sweet words, ladies! It means a lot to us.ReplyCancel

  • ann - November 19, 2012 - 5:52 PM

    Kim and Scott – being away from your families is hard right now but time will help and you know we’re all in this together. Sending hugs, mom and dadReplyCancel

  • Emma - November 23, 2012 - 9:34 PM

    Sending you happy, positive, and healing thoughtsReplyCancel

  • Anna - November 27, 2012 - 2:06 PM

    your console table is adorable! what is the name of the paint color? I love it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 27, 2012 - 2:10 PM

      Hi Anna, it’s called Totally Teal by Glidden!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - November 29, 2012 - 6:29 AM

    Thinking of you…For what it’s worth, I truly hope things get better soon! We’ll always be here =)ReplyCancel

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Going way back, we started with this chair. We loved her, and we knew she could’ve used a little makeover, but there she sat, untouched, in our living room for years.

Then we got a wild hair (gah, we’ve got lots of those) and started to slowly tweak our living room – you know this already. Our lovely chair was thrown in the pile of mini-makeovers, and over the last couple of months, we chose a fabric (Dandelion velvet from West Elm), dropped her off with our friends at the upholstery shop (after deciding a pro would be our best bet), pulled her into pieces, refreshed the frame, and now – we’ve put her back together:

Remember when she looked like this? Our girls loved that nubby fabric (perhaps it resembled a kitty scratching post?) – to pieces, literally. The new velvet, on the other hand is smooth, soft and self-healing, in a way.

Before putting the cushion back into the frame, we gave it three even coats of Scotch Gard, a precaution we take with any new piece of (fabric) furniture. (We did the same with Grandma’s chair, too.)

Because 2 of the screws needed to secure the seat to the frame could only be accessed from the inside (see here), we asked the upholsterers to leave a gap on the bottom, like this:

After we slipped the chair in the frame, Scott used an awl from the inside out to puncture the fabric – this would prevent ruining / pulling the fabric when we put the screws back in place. In the photo below, we had the chair turned on her side, then we slid the cushion out farther than needed to be able to feel where the screw should come out of the other side.

Once Scott used the awl on all 4 anchor points, we secured the cushion to the frame with the screws. At this point, I was able to use an extra piece of fabric to completely cover the bottom of the frame – a piece given to me by the shop so everything matched up.

You can tell it’s two pieces, but we pulled everything nice and snug and secured the second strip of fabric in place with our staple gun.

Now, she looks like this – velvet-y, yellow-y and cute(y)!

The yellow is soft and subtle, but every now and then, it’ll feel like a fun splash of color; the butter color can take on the slightest neon hue in the right light – and I say that in the best possible way.

We think that all the fabric agonizing, wood re-finishing and years of waiting for the just right moment has been well worth it. You know that we love to give most things a go with our own hands when we can, but we have to say, it feels good to have a good upholstery shop in your back pocket.

Have you taken on any upholstery jobs of your own recently? We’re always amazed at the unique and fun ways you can transform a piece of furniture with fabric – this one (shared in this post by reader, Erin) still gives us heart palpitations.

  • kelley - November 15, 2012 - 8:33 AM

    That cat pillow is adorable. Where did you find it?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 15, 2012 - 9:20 AM
  • Carole - November 15, 2012 - 10:14 AM

    So happy to see the final product, it looks gorgeous! I have an upholstery job waiting for me – it is number four in the line of furniture projects I have on the go. Fingers crossed, it is my first attempt at upholstery!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 15, 2012 - 12:34 PM

    Thanks, Carole! Good luck with your upholstery project! Patience will go a long way…ReplyCancel

  • jackie jade - November 15, 2012 - 1:41 PM

    Ooooh looks so great! That yellow works so well – great choice!!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - November 15, 2012 - 6:20 PM

    It’s soooo beauuuutifuuull….definitely worth the wait. I’m willing to bet that pro upholstery will hold up super well over the years! Plus, the piping trim detail is lovely! Such a gorgeous color fabric too. My mom gifted custom upholstery to me on a gorgeous set of hand-me-down chairs (sounds funny, but she’s an interior designer by trade) and they’ve held up beautifully over the last (gulp) 9 years.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 15, 2012 - 6:56 PM

      Trude, that sounds like our idea of a GREAT gift!ReplyCancel

  • Ada (new york) - November 16, 2012 - 4:05 PM

    I love the new fabric color, and it looks like the chair is VERY happy now given so much TLC :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - November 19, 2012 - 11:51 AM

    Oh. Wow. Completely happy and beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - November 27, 2012 - 11:16 AM

    oh! it looks SO great!!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - November 29, 2012 - 6:32 AM

    Oh my goodness!! The yellow with the wood tone is perfection…Love it.ReplyCancel

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You might remember that we recently replaced our entire living room window get-up with these blinds, this rod and these panels. While we love the look of clean, crisp curtains, to be honest, we had debated whether we should go bold with patterned panels. With all the windows in our home covered in white drapes, we thought it could be a fun, funky touch, but after simmering on the idea for a few days, we nixed it. Here’s what we have now:

With our big art ledge as the focus (and a yellow velvety chair on the way!), we didn’t want the room to feel chaotic with one more thing in the mix. We love the gray panels we chose (they are the most perfect shade, literally and figuratively, so to speak), but a few days ago, we spiced ‘em up with an easy peasy upgrade – pom pom trim!

Our supplies:

6 yds of mini pom trim (the same kind used here)
hot glue gun
scissors
needle and thread (for extra credit)

I’ve said many times that I can’t sew a lick – this is still the case – so I used a glue gun to adhere the trim to the outside of each panel. We debated adding the trim to the inside of each panel (or both sides, really), but the outside edge naturally juts out with the ruffle of the curtain, so we just went with it.

I applied the hot glue directly to the excess part of the trim and carefully pressed it down along the way. Below on the left is how it looks when you’re looking at the curtain, and the right side shows the back – what we don’t see.

I trimmed it off at the bottom, added an extra dab of glue to “seal” it in, and repeated the same steps on the other panel. For extra credit, I randomly stitched the trim in place (top, bottom, and a few spots in the center), but to be honest, it didn’t need it.

The hot glue was the easiest option, as it required no drying time, and it was so simple! I was done in 30 minutes, and it adds a tiny hint of color – perfect.

Our tweaked-out living room is falling into place, if only we could find (or DIY?) a table for my nighttime wine to sit on. (You should see me balance my drink atop those throw blankets!) The original list has dwindled down, and you can see that the lovely chair is done – whoot! We’ll share her soon, soon, soon:

Makeover our $2 chair. (Done!)
• Reassess the end table situation – or lack thereof.
Swap our venetian blinds for easy, breezy cellular shades. (Done!)
Layer in curtains to hide speakers and add warmth, texture and height. (Done!)
Replace our shaggy rug with something that fits our oddly shaped room. (Done!)
Re-upholster the lovely chair. (Done! Reveal soon!)
Re-work our current art display. (Done!)

About those end tables. (Sigh.) Over the weekend, Scott found a cute, simple end table on Craigslist (we figured it could conceal our ugly sub-woofer under the new-ish light), but in person, not so much. It was too small, over priced for the size, and needed TLC we weren’t willing to give – you know, due to the over-priced-ness.

So, uh, anyone have an end table they need to rid themselves of?

In any case, we love how the mini pom-pom trim adds a boost to our gray curtain panels – and ties in with Stanley across the room! Depending on how bold you’d like to go, we’re thinking larger poms or velvet ribbon could be fun too, don’t you think?

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d - November 13, 2012 - 8:08 AM

    You had me at mini pom poms. Or anything mini, really. The little splash of color is perfect, and I’m guessing (due to the nature of hot glue) you could easily peel it off to replace it with something else down the road… I’ve been debating adding trim to our curtains, but haven’t landed on the trim yet. Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Cara - November 13, 2012 - 8:17 AM

    Adorable! I’m not an avid sewer but I think I might be able to handle a glue gun!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 13, 2012 - 9:49 AM

    Amanda, I do think the pom trim could come off easily – but it’s surprisingly tough as nails on those panels! Perhaps a good tug could have them coming off if we change our minds!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - November 13, 2012 - 9:54 AM

    So funny- I read the title of this, and before scrolling down I thought, ‘Ooh, like yellow pompom trim?’ and immediately wondered where I could put that in my apartment. Great minds, obviously. :P Anyway that looks really cute, and I’m glad to see you could do it without sewing!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - November 13, 2012 - 12:10 PM

    I love little changes that make a big impact! That little splash of color looks great! :)ReplyCancel

  • Staci @ My Friend Staci - November 13, 2012 - 1:28 PM

    I love this hint of color. Might have to consider doing something similar to my curtains!
    Have you thought about turning the crate on its end and adding a tray to the top for a temporary end table solution?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 13, 2012 - 2:12 PM

    Staci, that’s a great suggestion! Scott had actually mentioned doing something similar… so we’ll see if we end up going that route!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - November 14, 2012 - 4:16 PM

    Those mini, yellow pom-poms couldn’t be more you. The perfect addition!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - November 29, 2012 - 6:34 AM

    Okay this is my last in the slew of comments this morning – Promise.

    You know me+yellow+gray is one happy trio – This is cute as a button and I may very well have to follow suit…Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Marianne - January 26, 2013 - 7:09 AM

    I like your idea of mini pompoms for the curtains, it gives life to your white curtain.ReplyCancel

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