Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bay Window Redesigns

In my last post I promised a picture of the bay window in my master bedroom both before the makeover and full view after the makeover. I'm here to deliver!! Here is my master bedroom bay window seat today.

Unfortunately it didn't start it's life looking this glamorous. My home has two bay window seats in it. One in the living room and one in the master bedroom. While I recognize their storage capabilties, when I bought my home they were HIDEOUS to say the least. Outdated brass hardware, huge hinges, and doors painted a different shade than the rest of the window seat, which was a different shade than the wall itself. Plus not to mention the "seat" itself was merely a vinyl tablecloth wrapped around an egg carton foam bedding thingy (not sure what they are really called!). I would have ripped them both out completely except there was no hardwood floor under either of them. Which meant taking them down was out of the question, but they were in desperate need of leaving the 1980's behind. Here is the living room bay window before.

Although today's post is about the bedroom bay window I neglected to take a picture of it before it was made over. Picture this exact same thing but no beadboard on the surrounding walls and the surrounding walls were painted sage green instead of maroon.

To start, we took off the doors and flipped them inside out so that the main part of the door was now inside the seat, but the edge of the door (which had been cut to be the same size of the hole, thereby shutting flat) was lying flat against the outside. I know I am not doing a good job explaining this! Basically take the above picture and take the front part and flip it 180 degrees so that what would have been seen from the inside above is now seen from the oustide. We then cut shoe molding to go around the edges of the holes/doors. But since there were only two in the middle and that looked a little spare we added one more square of shoe molding on either side, making 4 squares. Since we lost the means to get inside to make use of all the storage when we flipped the doors inside out, we cut a square in the top, drilled a large hole for me to use to open it, and added hinges. Now, I have to move the cushion to get into the top, but all that is stored are blankets and rarely used stuff anyway, so I don't need to get in on a regular basis.  All in all a much, MUCH needed improvement. And relatively simple to boot. Plus, I still have all that great storage!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay...

Window that is. (Don't you just love Otis Redding?) I have two bay window seats in my home. One in the master bedroom and one in the living room. Today I'll be focusing on the master bedroom window seat. I do have a picture of the very horrible and ugly seat as it was when I bought the house, but alas, I have been busy lazy and haven't uploaded it yet. Another thing I realized, I should have taken the time to hide the electrical cords in my last post! I'm not good at this staging pictures thing yet so bear with me while I learn. Here is the very barren before picture.

I will tell you that I put those pillows on there for the sake of taking the picture as they are the focus of today's makeover. They had not previously been sitting there. Going back to my less-than-perfect picture taking skills, I realize I also probably need a picture of the whole window seat and not just a zoomed in one of the pillows sitting on top. Again, bear with me! These pillows came from my Grandmother. I liked that they were all four the same size. Plus, since they were given to me by my Grandmother they were free! (Please know that I am not stealing pillows off of my poor G-ma's couch, she wasn't using them anymore.)

I cashed in Amazon gift cards and ordered my fabric. offers free shipping on orders over $35 so the fabric (and shipping) was also FREE! My mother and I measured the old pillows, ironed and laid out my fabric, then we proceeded to measure and cut out the soon to be new pillows. This project was supposed to be a sewing lesson for yours truly but I have a confession-I didn't sew a single thing on these pillows. I was too nervous that I wouldn't be able to sew in a straight line, much less sew on cording. So I let my mom do all of the hard work (*bad daughter*) while I was her glorified gopher, fetching her whatever she needed. I will say that I think she enjoyed telling me what to do. She even started calling me grasshopper. "Grasshopper, go get me those upholstery needles." "Grasshopper, hand me the seam ripper," etc. etc. Unfortunately, when I cut the old pillows open, I discovered that they were filled with poly fill and not with a pillow form. So, as gopher, I also became the glorified pillow stuffer.

As far as the actual window seat cushion goes, for this we measured the dimensions of the bay window seat area and cut a large 3" piece of foam to size. With an electric turkey carver no less. Who knew? (My mom would like to disclose that this is a trick she learned in her upholstery class and she suggests next time you have a large piece of foam to cut, you try this trick as well.) Then once again my mom did all of the hard work of sewing the pieces of fabric together. Here is the window seat now. I think it looks fantastic! Don't you? I can't wait for you all to see the complete master bedroom makeover!

P.S. In the future the mini-blinds will be disappearing, but as I am working on a limited budget they are here to stay for the time being.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Color me Yellow

My nightstand currently consists of an antique table but since painting it was out of the question (it's in great shape) I was on the lookout for another piece. Something a little taller as well. This gem was picked up at a yard sale for FREE! Yes, you read that right. (It was marked $5 but when I asked if they would go lower I was told, "Just take it and get it out of here please!" How could I refuse?) She was in pretty bad shape. She's a sewing table so her top opens on hinges. Her side opens as well. The sewing machine is missing, which is fine. Her top was also split right in two (which is why I asked the lady to go lower than $5). Here is a picture of her in her sad before state.

The white in the second picture is actually glue where I glued the top back together. Poor girl. I busted out the sander and got to work. Lots of sanding and some priming later...

I realize now that I should have wood puttied the holes in front before I primered, but at the time I still didn't know whether I was going to go with the original hardware placement or with only one hole in the middle. I just love her curvy legs!

I painted her a bright yellow to go with my color scheme and then waxed her with a dark brown wax to tone her down a touch and bring out some of her features. I opted for one knob in the middle so ended up having to drill a hole for that (you can see in the before picture that there was a piece of hardware there, but it was just tacked on with a slim tack). And here is the final product!

Isn't she pretty?

Sharing on
Savvy Homemade Monday
Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Primitive and Proper's Piece of Work Wednesday
Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking
Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Thrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty Groove

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Hello! And welcome! I've been given an award by Jane at Little House of Projects! Thank you so much Jane. I'm honored to be recognized by a fellow blogger.
The rules for this award are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave the award to you
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Send it along to 15 other bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

Here are my seven things:
1.  I am addicted to vintage Pyrex.
2) I am also addicted to vintage Corelle (specifically the Butterfly Gold pattern, which conveniently comes in vintage Pyrex as well). Two birds with one stone!
3) My profile picture is of the court jester at Casa Rafters, my cat Baxter.
4) I am trying to learn how to sew.
5) I love to cook. Look for posts if I can remember to take a picture before I taste!
6) Did I mention my favorite store is Goodwill?
7) Almost every piece of furniture I own is second hand.

I'm passing the award along to mostly new blogs with few followers (like mine!). Otherwise, I tried to pick blogs with fewer than 50 followers. Hopefully we can help and inspire each other with our creative endeavors! (And maybe get some new followers along the way.) I found all of my picks through their awesome projects posted at the linky party on Primitive and Proper. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Custom Fabric Artwork

In my master bedroom's previous boring incarnation I had no artwork on the walls. It wasn't because I'm not a fan of pictures or because I myself am boring, but rather because as a new homeowner who spent many hours painting every room in the house I was hesitant to put holes in my freshly painted walls. However, as part of my master bedroom redo I decided I also needed artwork to adorn my walls. Artwork just makes a room look more finished. Put together. Complete. Curtains too. Have you priced artwork lately? WHEW! Break the bank. Plus, there was the additional problem of needing something that had black and yellow in it. So, as I am known to do, I decided to improvise.

I started with these canvas pictures that I picked up at the local Goodwill for around $4 each. Here they are before.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking, "What's wrong with those?" Not a thing. They are pretty enough as is, and they do have some yellow in them. It's just that they aren't really my style. At. all.

The easiest solution for custom artwork on a budget? Try fabric! I found this beautiful Waverly Good Vibrations Blackbird fabric online. It had everything I required. A modern print in yellow and black. A bonus? has an Amazon store so I was able to use swagbucks to score this fabric for free! A little pulling, tugging and stapling later...

All in all this project probably took around an hour (measure twice cut once!). It was a little work to make sure the stripes were straight but it was well worth it. And there is my custom fabric artwork!