seeing spots

Surfaced amongst many holiday projects this weekend was this gem of a vanity stool.  I’ve had it “on deck” for a while actually.  It simply needed some TLC in the form of upholstery and a proper seat cushion.

Leopard Vanity Stool

The before shot of this stool is kind of comical.  It was topped with a toilet seat cover over part of an egg carton.

vanity before

Finally, I got down to the bare bones of the seat so I could start from scratch.

Leopard Vanity Stool

That is when I cut out a 1 inch foam cushion and then secured and covered it with batting.

Leopard Vanity Stool

Followed by some sassy leopard fabric.  Much better.

  Leopard Vanity Stool

I love a simple vanity stool in a classic leopard.  It doesn’t get anymore feminine.

Leopard Vanity Stool

In fact, I don’t even think this stool needs to be paired with a vanity to be complete.  It would be a great accent in a dressing room or bathroom on it’s own.

Leopard Vanity Stool

This isn’t the first vanity stool I upholstered in leopard…

vanity stool

That stool was upholstered in a bedspread when I found it!  Check out the before and after here.

What is the strangest thing you’ve found when reupholstering a seat?

Leopard Vanity Stool

well loved chairs

We had three cast off dining room chairs that had lost their luster long ago.   Their bums were sagging and needed more than just a nip tuck.  An upholstery lift wasn’t going to cut it with these babies. There was nothing worth saving except for the sturdy wooden frames.

chair befor

Good frames that they were, made them quite the perfect candidates to upcycle into an upholstered bench.  I painted each their own happy hue in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Emilie, Florence & Duck Egg) to complement the recurring aqua blue color scheme in our home.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

We headed straight to Lowe’s for lumber.  This was the easy part. We selected a piece of plywood and had the fine folks at Lowe’s cut it free in store. Did you know Lowe’s offers this service? They’re pretty flexible on how many cuts they’ll do too. We had selected the length and width we wanted the bench to be prior to our trip to the store.

turning chairs into a bench

We based this off of the trio of chairs and their seat width. It was easiest to then take the wood home and measure the notches that needed to be cut between each chair back.  Ryan made these detail cuts and rounded the corners as well.

building a bench out of chairs

Not only does Lowe’s cut lumber but they’ll also cut mini blinds, pipe, rope and chain. And this is news to me, Lowe’s also offers FREE pipe threading and cutting for any size galvanized or black iron pipe. Say what!  A Do It Yourselfer’s dream.  Lowe’s is seriously full of easy solutions for your projects.

Check out this six second Lowe’s video that will pretty much change your life. Trust me.

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Being a visual person, I love the no words simplicity of their new animated video series on Vine.  I definitely learned a few new tricks.  The stripped screw solution is genius!  Lowe’s has several more simple, creative and life changing improvement videos like this on Vine.  Check them out!  I can’t believe I never thought of the coffee filter one.   #lowesfixinsix  Holler!

Yes, I just hollered…back to the bench at hand.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

The seat needed to be firm but plush.  Somewhere to linger longer so we picked up two-inch thick foam cushioning.  Using the neatly cut lumber as a template, I traced the shape.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

Here’s another tip for you that I’ve learned along the way:  Ready for it?  A quick and easy way to cut foam cushion is with none other than your electric knife.  The same knife you carve the turkey with.  So easy.

tip: use an electric knife to cut through foam cushion

Next comes the fluffing.  This is where you wrap the seat cushion with poylfill.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

No more saggy seat.  This bench is looking firm and inviting.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

The final step was the upholstery.  Instead of going with some sparkly new fabric, I obviously opted for two dingy, old seed sacks.  I’ve been holding onto these waiting for just the right project.  Their time had come, my friends.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

The trickiest part of this entire bench building business for us was sewing. Yes, sewing a straight line. Now you stellar seamstresses out there may find this comical but firing up the actual sewing machine was our biggest challenge. No joke.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

But my husband came to the rescue with a triple stitch combining both grain sacks to make one piece of fabric wide enough to cover the entire seat.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

We embraced all the wear and tear in both the fabric and chairs and are pretty excited with how the upcycled bench turned out.  Funny enough the only new materials used are in innards.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

It complements the well-loved and repurposed vibe that is growing in the beach house kitchen.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

This is a view into the eating nook as it is today with our vintage enamel table.  The roman shades are also a new addition.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

The bench adds lots of extra seating for visitors at our kitchen table.  It faces the galley that we have been working on updating as I posted about last week.

kitchen

Some other areas I hope to update are the walls, laminate floor and lighting.  I think I got my point across last week about my lack of interest in laminate and desire to resurface all of it within a 30 mile radius.  But all in due time.  We seem to be working on this space upside down or inside out…details first.  It works for us!

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.  However, all opinions and projects are my own.  And we really do think Lowe’s is awesome and their new videos are life changing.

vinyl + chrome = love

We’re just barely back from our honeymoon.  Still organizing life and most importantly all of our Brimfield finds!  However I couldn’t leave you hanging without a little dose of Circa Dee.

I’ve got a before & after for you from the archives.  I can’t hardly believe that I’ve never properly shared this project with you.  It is definitely one of my favorites around here.  In fact, there has been a debate on whether or not we should keep it for ourselves.  We don’t actually need this adorable retro dinette table & chairs however it fits in perfectly at the beach.  And we happen to have an open space for it.  Hmmm…

updated retro dinette  (2 of 23)

Of course I didn’t take a proper before shot. More like an in progress shot after we started taking the chairs apart.  As you can see they were covered in the original vinyl which was in bad shape.  And then there was newer vinyl (not pictured) haphazardly tacked on over the original.

IMG_5606

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Off it all came!  The chairs got updated with my modern spin on the original vinyl – bright aqua marine grade vinyl.  So fun!

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Don’t you just want to sit down?

updated retro dinette  (10 of 23)

Now for the table… I love the original table.  Nice and solid.  What you can’t really see are all of the dings, filth and general wear & tear.  So ultimately we stripped it with the intent to stain the original wood with a more modern dark color.

IMG_5608

But at the end of the day we settled on a couple of coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in graphite.  I think it adds another modern punch that coordinates with the bright chairs very well.  I topped it off with a couple of cots of furniture wax.  It has a nice smooth finish.

updated retro dinette  (12 of 23)

And check out all of those legs!  We cleaned and shined up all of that chrome which really gives off the retro vibe.  All of that gorgeous chrome is the feature that is saving the table from staying in our home.  We have all brass accents so the chrome has to go!  Too bad for us but maybe good for you?

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Wouldn’t you like to have a glass of wine at this table?

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Linking to:  Miss Mustard Seed

secret weapon

Ok so it’s not so secret anymore.

Let’s just say that I am not much of an upholsterer.  I have tried my hand at it and it’s worked out ok but nothing epic has come of it.  I can’t do much beyond a basic seat.  Anything involving curves, sewing, welting, etc.  Not me.  Nor do I enjoy the task.  And I’ve come to accept that.  Part of the acceptance came when I found a stellar upholsterer to partner with who totally gets my style and is a true artist in his craft.

Meet Pete.  Hard at work.

IMG_9057

When I started designing the bedroom for my home show room I knew there had to be an upholstered headboard. It had to be eye-catching.  It had to be vintage fabric.  A few ideas flew around as to what fabric to use but ultimately I settled on this bold, vintage tablecloth that is durable enough to stand in as upholstery.  I love the print and feel like it is totally fresh again as a headboard.  I considered tackling this project alone but decided to call in the professional after all.

Home Show - Upholstered Headboard

I love to source vintage furniture, re-imagine it and find just the right fabric, lay it out and then turn my idea over to the professional to implement.  Check out these before and after collaborations between Circa Dee and Hummingbird Upholstery…my vision, Pete’s craftsmanship.

Barrel Back Chair Before & After

Before & After French Settee

Before & After Club Chair

To all of my local blogger/designer/DIYer/upcycler/upholsterer-seeking friends, I am sharing my secret resource with you because I believe in paying it forward.  I love supporting small businesses and artisans – people who do what they love everyday.  You should definitely enlist Pete at Hummingbird Upholstery for your next project.  His workshop is located in beautiful Chester county.

barn door

By the way, the club chair and headboard collaborations from the Home Show room are for sale.  Both are currently listed on etsy.

Reclaimed Industrial Bedroom

walk on the wild side

Seriously.  Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to cover this vanity stool in remnants of an old bedspread?  Eww.

Not only was there the hideous bedding situation but there were other layers of funky fabric under there including something resembling pink vinyl.  Probably the original upholstery on the seat.  And none other than a white cotton t-shirt.  Yes a t-shirt.  I think that was maybe used as some sort of batting.  I dunno.

Lo and behold we finally got to the bare bones.  I say “we” because my darling Ryan kindly pried out every tack and staple for me while I went shopping for…wait for it…leopard fabric!

This sweet vintage stool has been through so much with those awful layers of hideous fabric.  It only seemed right that she be reborn with some wild animal print.

Check out the metal twisty legs. Love.

She’s so cute smiling from that corner.  I might have to keep her.  The new and improved stool would be perfect in just about any room to give it a punch of femininity.   I can even see her as the star in a big, stark white bathroom beside a clawfoot tub.  If only I had a clawfoot tub…

Happy weekend!

Linking to:

Mod Vintage Lifefreckled laundry