Through the use of color from paint and textiles, I've been transitioning the mood of our home - from Summer to Fall. One of the items I revamped were a pair of old fitting room stools that were about to be purged after a stores remodel. Funny thing is, I did have them before (in my old apartment), but when I had moved out, I donated them. So when I found out they were available again, I salvaged them. Before keeping them though, I did try to sell them at the garage sale for only $5 each... but they had no takers. It's just as well - Sephora loves sitting and sleeping on them now. Here's a look at this simple project...

Stools AFTER

Easy to remove cushions: Just unscrew from the bottom.

Using the spray handle will ensure even coverage. I like to start my paint projects from the underside first, let dry, and flip it. This helps make sure you don't miss any spots - and helps save your back from hunching over to look for those missed spots.

Before I put down my drop cloths in the grass, I put down some wood boards (old shelves) to give me a flatter work surface - especially because our backyard is so close to a berm - the ground slopes.

LOVE the new finish & color!
Then it was deciding to stay neutral with chocolate, or pop it with red. Since I recently revamped my black thrifted buffet in red on the other side of the room (to be posted shortly!), I went with the red here to help balance the color in the space.

While cleaning out closets for the garage sale, I had found some fabric I've had and had gotten probably five years ago - but never braved the task of recovering what they were intended for: the dining room chairs. I'm glad I waited. Loving these colors for Fall this year...

After deciding which color fabric to go with, I went to my usual space I work on projects: The Kitchen Floor. I used a sheet to cover the floor / area rug to try to minimize lint getting on the fabric. After cutting the fabric squares, I noticed a few fold creases. To get out the creases from these folds, I spritzed the fabric, and ironed it on THE REVERSE side - because chenille has a nap (those tiny little hairs giving it texture).

When stapling the fabric to the cushion, it is VERY important to start at centers on ALL four sides - pulling the fabric taught - BEFORE working the corners...

Work opposite sides, and then opposites again for a tight fit.
Fold in corners and cut off excess fabric.

Since I didn't remove the previous fabric - but covered over it - the recovered cushions had a REALLY snug fit. So snug, I pounded them with the bottom of my hand palm. You could also use a mallet, or just cover a hammer-head with a towel.

Sephora on the stools the other night watching the VMA's while I was tweeting it :)
Here's a quick checklist of supplies...

So if you're into dumpster diving, or looking for a different source for some furniture freebies - don't hesitate to check around your local department stores. It also doesn't hurt to pop in and ask for the Manager of the Day, or the Visual Manager to ask them if they have any tables, chairs, stools, or even old artwork in frames they are looking to purge - TRUST ME - they are always throwing things away. This is a great save to our landfills and also a great save to help furnish your space on a budget. Heck  if you have a booth or shop, ask them if they have any extra fixtures too.

Sephora REALLY likes them...

Thanks for stopping by!


Design Star: True Design? Or Just Made For TV?

Can't stop SMH (that's shaking my head) from last night's "Look For Less" challenge on Design Star. I guess the format for the the next Design Star has changed a bit from when the show first aired. At first, it was all about creativity - hence "design", and the star factor, from what I recall, was taking people who were not already established designers and giving them the opportunity to make something of themselves in the design world - by having their own show. Granted, I understand you've gotta have some personality to be on TV and speak to a camera, but I think last night showed THAT has become the main focus. I'm giving you my two cents, but be sure to check out the HGTV Design Happens Blog, for a recap from Candice Olson, and the already over 200 comments posted...

The line-up was right there - Meg the winner of this "design" challenge - because of her roaring LEO energy on TV... But in my opinion, the true "designer" who actually REPURPOSED an item was Karl - and he clearly should have won this challenge. Which reminds me....

Since when is "repurposing" a desk lamp to an entry table lamp repuposing?
It's still a lamp - right?? Just like Meg's coffee table...

Since when is "repuposing" a coffee table mean just painting the top of it? It's still being used as a coffee table - isn't it?? Now if it were a dining table, and she cut the legs down to be 18" for a standard coffee table height AND THEN painted the top to personalize it by REFINISHING it... then that would be true. But come on... Also, (SMH) I went to the Art Institute and studied Interior DESIGN too - and there is no degree in Interior ARCHITECTURE like she said on Nate's Show. And if she studied interiors, then why did she call her more quatrefoil painted design a medallion? Last time I checked - A medallion was round. And I don't know about you, but since when is a coffee table a FOCAL POINT in a room ?? as she also said on Nate's show. And one other thing - Yes - the vertical molding on the wall was the START of a good idea - but know when to say when and take it up a notch. I thought her space was TOO busy, and no place to rest my eyes (too many little things and the L bracket showing). I would have liked to have seen actual stripes painted on the wall - or in between the molding - and this concept to be on ONE wall - or the focal point of the space. If you only have a budget of $2500 - paint (and thrift!!) are your best allies!

And then there was the valiant effort, but miss through execution from the pretty little pixie in pink darling... Kellie.

As a DIY blogger - YES! Tablecloths truly REPURPOSED as window panels does work - however it works best if they are pressed and a print - These solids and having no texture not only fell flat... but I am SO CURIOUS as to why she just "happened to have" two (looks like 120") tablecloths, when she didn't have any tables in the room?? Do you think that was some TV magic happening to give her space more interest? hmmmmmm.....

I believe the TRUE designer, who REPURPOSED an item - No Wait - actually TWO items: the books AS  shelves and floating shelves AS vertical uprights - was Karl...

Karl was knowledgeable, informative and achieved a well executed space that reflected a level of sophistication - and completion - not seen in the other spaces for this "Look For Less" challenge. I'm sure with coaching, practice and time, his TV personality skill could develop to something like David Bromstad. Remember, he was timid in front of the camera when he FIRST started - and look at him now, just eating it up!

I enjoyed watching the cross-production of design shows. It was interesting to see some "behind the scenes" shots from Nate's show on HGTV. It's also been nice this season to see different perspectives from the "guest" judges for the challenges. I also like the fact that they give the challengers a painter and a carpenter to get some of the grunt work done - but I don't feel like they've used the opportunity to delegate a little more design work to them (like painting stripes on a wall). I believe they were right in sending Kellie home. This far into the challenge, the level of execution needs to be spot on... However, (even though I too am LEO) I don't believe Meg should have "won" this challenge. IMO (in my opinion) I think Karl should have won. Meg actually probably should have left from the last challenge - and Kevin several challenges before (I wish Tylor were still on!!). That loft landing was hideous that Meg pulled together on the last challenge - plus her off hanging of the lanterns. Mark should have won the last challenge... and Karl should have won this challenge.

Sorry if my somewhat harsh comments offended anyone...
Have you been watching Design Star this season?
What did you think of this "Look For Less" challenge??

(Note: All photos from Design Happens Blog)


After packing up and putting away the summer seashells & details, I wanted to start to neutralize our home for Fall. One of the ways I do that is for the spaces to be void of any accent color. With that said, the white washed / turquoise dining room wall needed to go! And in one afternoon - away it went. I cleared the space in front of the wall, put down my drop cloths - on the floor and the table - and brought in the paint colors I had in the garage.  I used the existing colors we already have on our walls: Lamp Room Gray, Cinderblock, and Crosby (a dark brown.) I didn't want any of the whitewashed turquoise to show through, so first I painted the wall with the lightest grey (Lamp Room) which is also the color on the other walls in the dining room and entrance.

Bye-Bye Summer!

After the base coat of grey was applied, I started to mix my "paint concoctions" (as someone commented and made me smile). The mix was only applying water to the colors I poured into my mixing bowls.

This one was a little bit messier than the white wash walls, so I did use gloves. I didn't have enough sponges, so I cut the ones I did have in half (and they were easier to hold anyways). For mixing the paint with the water, I used a chip brush and sponge stick. When I applied the was to the walls this time though... I pulled a Bromstad: I used a water spritzer on the wall sprayed over the section I had just painted. Doing this made blending SO MUCH easier....

One afternoon with color and it really changed the mood from Summer to Fall.

 Although the wall color was already making a difference, something still felt like it was missing from the space.

The room was missing layers.
Layers of textiles, like a rug and heavier window panels. And this was when I decided to just "go for" the Gallery Wall
(click italicized/bold words to read about how I made the No Template Gallery Wall )

I did have the collection of thrifted frames sitting in the dining room for a week after
painting the dining room wall.

And it was after I did the wall and pulled back the furniture, I brought back in the old sisal & black chenille rug. I had removed the rugs last Winter to go with a lighter look. Now the old rug looks new again...

Summer to Fall Transition

I set the chairs a little different in the space too. Although I did still use the Drop Cloth Bench Slip Cover (made earlier this year) I only used 3 of the slip covered dining chairs, running along the back. It works better with the length of the table since I still kept the leaf in it to make it larger. The 3 chairs repeat the 3 frosted glass light fixtures - which I now removed the basket weave sleeve from.

After removing the shell necklaces and starfish from the Beachy Bottles (previously on the buffet in the living room) I brought them into the dining room... and appropriately filled the basket with my wine cork collection ;)

The branch in the corner I found on the side of the road last year, and had used it on the buffet for Fall. I love the way the bottles just look old now. Maybe I'll try some twine around their necks for texture.


Re-using the colors we have in our home helped give the space a cohesive look. The rustic wall finish layered with the woods, prints and textures in the space really helped make it feel more cozy for Fall... and it was all from just a simple shift of accessories and re-using some left over paint stored in the garage. What extra paint do you have just sitting in the garage? Why not try a new finish for an accent wall for Fall?

Thanks for stopping by and
have a great weekend!
(Hopefully a SAFE and DRY one away from Hurricane Irene.)



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