Dining chairs revamped.

When we bought our dining room table off Craigslist, I had no thought of the chairs. It was always all about the table. I didn’t even care what the chairs that came with it looked like! They were merely an aside. But regardless, the set included 2 arm chairs and 4 side chairs. The arm chairs were leather, incredibly scratched up and stained. After they sat out on the front porch for too long for us to be called respectable neighbors, I figured out what I wanted to do with them. I decided to keep, paint and use the two end/arm chairs.

Their original “charm” was that on the right:

dining chairs 2

I bet you’re thinking, “It’s not that bad!” You’d be correct in thinking that way judging from the photo. But if you saw the chairs in person . . . oh boy, you’d be singing a different tune! Unfortunately (or fortunately??), I didn’t take any close-ups of the leather before I took those bad boys on. A chair used and abused for almost 10 years. No longer. We were going to give them the TLC they needed!

I chose a light french gray color for painting, yes painting, the leather. I used Maison Blanche chalk paint and after reading several different reviews and tutorials, was {pretty} sure I could make it work. I painted the arms and legs as well, with a black spray paint primer. I over-painted that with a light “wash” of the gray color used on the upholstery. I finished them off with a water-based varnish to seal the wood, and a furniture wax and buffing to seal the leather. Here are some side-by-side close-ups:

dining chairs 4

dining chairs 5

They turned out very charming and vintage-looking. A neighbor boy was over the day I was working on them and he commented how the “new” look of the chairs looked “old”. I told him, “Thanks — that’s the look I’m going for!” He said, “Oh, I like new things.” Spoken like a 12 year old. 🙂

Time will tell how the painted leather holds up. But so far, it’s a great finish. They’re comfortable to sit in and can be wiped right off. The finish turned out sort of “buttered leather” like. With a bit of a sheen. Quite pleasant, actually.

Here are some shots of how they look up next to the table:

table and chairs 3

table and chairs 4

The table is really big, really statement-making in a room. So the chairs at the ends of it needed to be somewhat the same, so as to not get lost, you know? We’re very happy with how it all turned out. It’s ready for what life in a household of 7 will throw at it. Meals? Games? School? Holidays? Yep, we’re covered.

–Beth 🙂

P.S. As mentioned regarding the table, if you’re interested in hearing more about the process I used for painting the upholstery and legs, let me know. I would be happy to type up a tutorial of the method I used.

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Ken’s office.

A top notch remodeling company is storming Winter Park, Florida. It’s so exciting! Ken and his business partner, Richard, are busy getting all the details in order for their their new residential remodeling company. One of those details was finding office space to rent, and they’ve secured a place! It’s really so quaint — here are some pictures.

View walking into office, which will be the “conference room”:

 

 

 

view walking in

 

View walking into adjoining room, which will be Ken’s private office:

view in ken's office

 

window view

(See that arched window?? Here’s the view from it, which will be a view from Ken’s desk):

direct view from desk

 

Back to the conference room . . . here are the views from those windows:

table view, view out main window

 

Can you see him eating his lunch at that table?? I’m so excited for him. He’s looking forward to getting settled in!

I get to help decorate this place . . . fun, huh??

We’ve already been busy getting it just right for the new company (and by “we”, I mean mostly Ken – although I have been helping to paint the last couple days).

I love Benjamin Moore paint colors. Ken loves Sherwin William’s actual paint base. Back in Maryland, we painted our whole remodeled house with Ben Moore colors *in* a Sherwin William’s base. It was a happy union. Down here, I bought a 5 gallon bucket of a color I *thought* I loved (I did on my MD walls) – turns out, it’s not loving being on the walls of a Florida home. I’m not loving it either. Ben, I’ll always love you and I’m sure we’ll be reunited someday, but for now I’ve been let down and I need some space. It’s time for me to explore other options.

So, we chose Sherwin William’s colors for the office. Since olive is one of the company logo colors, Ken wanted to do an accent wall in olive. I went along with it – it IS his office, after all. Considering my love of all things gray, I had to choose an olive with undertones of gray. Well, at least “gray” is in part of the name. Here’s the color of the accent wall, followed by the color of the other walls:

SW 6165 Connected Gray:

 

 

 

 

 

 

connected gray

 

SW 6162 Ancient Marble:

ancient marble

 

I like to choose colors from the same color strip (which is what we did here), so the undertones are the same. I have no idea if this is the way it’s supposed to be done, it’s just the way I like colors blending in my house, so it’s the way I decided to blend colors in the office. I hope the two rooms’ final look comes together the way I have it pictured in my head!

Oh, something fun to stay posted for – we found some cool “alligator leather” chairs for the conference room. I’ll share photos when the room all comes together! 🙂

–Beth

P.S. If you have a few extra minutes, take a look at the city of Winter Park: http://cityofwinterpark.org/. It’s really a beautiful city (town??). Well, whatever it’s called, it’s lovely.

P.P.S. I really don’t know why there are such large gaps between my text and photos, and since I’m new to blogging, I don’t know how to fix it. Sorry, it doesn’t look pretty, but at least it’s not cutting anything out!

Girls’ Room Re-do.

When we decided to start painting our “new-to-us” house in Florida, Ken and I both agreed to paint our girls’ room first. The room they ended up making theirs was a grain mustard color with dingy blue drapes, and not at all appropriate for two young ladies. Here are some before pictures. I think you’ll agree it had to go!

girls' room before 1 girls room before 2 girls room before 3

We also wanted to switch up the bed situation. The layout wasn’t flowing like we wanted it to. The twin beds weren’t working for the space. Since the girls ended up sharing a twin bed most of the time, we decided to use the beautiful full size bed given to us by a friend of my parent’s. It had previously been our guest room bed, but since we anticipate more visitors in Florida than we had in Maryland, we knew we wanted to upgrade the guest bed to a queen size. So we brought the bed from the guest room and then decorated with everything we already had. We decided the room needed an area rug to soften the space and quiet it a bit, so we found one on clearance in Target! It’s an indoor/outdoor carpet and very easy to clean. We love how it pops in the room! We also picked up the night tables at an antique market in a nearby quaint town called Oviedo. Ken and his brother David and all the kids were very patient while my sister-in-law and I scoured the place. But we came away with the night tables so it was a successful visit! It all came together quite beautifully and the girls are really happy with the room. I’m so glad! The colors throughout the space blend so nicely and I can use pink, purple, grey and aqua (as you see a lot of in the photos) as accents. The color we used on the wall is called Coquette, from the Baer paint collection. Enjoy these “after” shots:

girls room after 1 girls room after 3 girls room after 4 girls room after 6 girls room after 7 girls room after 8

girls room after 2

It’s so much cheerier and brighter now! A beautiful room for beautiful girls!

girls (2)

–Beth 🙂