Thursday, March 27, 2014

Man Cave Makeover!

Are you scared? When I was researching ideas for making over my man's cave (or "den" as we most often refer to it), I came across some extreme and funny examples of what some men want!

Ok, this one may have merit! After two boys I know the importance of good aim!

Yep, that's a cooler in the coffee table.

It turns out that googling "man cave" for den ideas is not a particularly good idea! But our den has historically been a more masculine room in our home and even though we all use it, it will continue to house the more masculine artifacts of my husband's life. . . pheasants, golf trophies, autographed sports memorabilia, etc. We have primarily used it as our library/ home computer area, but have decided to make it into a second TV room. 

Unfortunately I didn't take any "before" pictures, but here is a picture of it's current state. 

Pretty spartan. We moved a leather club chair and ottoman to the lake and an antique writer's desk is now my oldest son's bedroom desk (previous post). After two parties I can tell you that an empty den makes a great coat room! But I think we're ready to put it to better use again!

My plan is to keep the saffron yellow on the walls, trim and french doors. We've hung a TV and moved a rust-colored antique console table under it (we had the table). The book shelf will be removed or updated and I'm on the hunt for two chaise lounges. 

Here is my inspiration: 

I love how cozy the double chaises make a smaller room. They are the perfect TV watching, book reading furniture.

Here is the design board for my den:

And here is the design with a rug-over-carpet option. I would go with a pinstripe blue that picks up the ceiling color. 

I'll give the room a boost of color with a blue ceiling and accessories, and pops of rust and red tones from the console table. I already have the West Elm medallion drapes pictured. And I love the World Market chandelier. I have been looking for a place to use this light!  

And so the hunt for our new cave begins! {Erin}

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reveal!!! Remember This Client Dining Room?!?

I loved working with my girl Tiffany (she won't care I mentioned her name) as she rolls with it like the best of them... laid back, open to change and just fun to be around! She was on to me many months ago when I showed her "before" photos. Her husband had given the green light to, "get er done" and so for me that meant getting some pictures and a plan up on the blog! After that happens, there is no turning back, right?! I'm sure she won't mind if I show one or two last pictures?! After all we can't do our big reveal if we don't know where we started! 

They were fortunate to be given this very nice, dining set and china cabinet from her mom. It is beautifully made, valuable furniture and so the plan was to just update the look of the pieces so that it fit with Tiffany's more modern style. If you recall, I walked you through the plan several months ago on the blog and we have been working on the details to make it all come together! Here is the plan we worked from...
Our initial plan was to paint the cabinet as well as the table and chairs but she was apprehensive to paint the dining set as it was an antique and with the right upholstery on the chairs we could for sure incorporate the brown tones with the black and white! 
I'll let the photos speak for themselves and without further ramblings~ 
the AFTER:

We replaced the chairs at the end with upholstered solid gray chairs to modernize the look of the table and pull in our charcoal color. We replaced the old chandelier with an over sized more modern, black drum shade! The antique chairs shown below were reupholstered in a fun modern fabric that brought our brown, black and gray tones together nicely. 

The china cabinet that was painted a sage green in its original state was a little harder to make work with our plan so she had the entire cabinet painted white and we picked out a stencil to do on the back of the cabinet in a black and gold paint combination. I cannot tell you how pleased I was with the result of this piece! Its looks so much more updated and really shows off all her white china and accessories displayed! 

Every great dining experience deserves a cocktail nearby! Most bars are not right in the dining room so a bar cart is always a perfect option tucked in the corner to house a few things that you don't want to get up for and they are maybe the closest most of us are going to get to having a butler! We ordered the wall mount wine rack from Etsy and the bar cart is the very popular and very affordable Target bar cart. 

For the artwork we chose this very sophisticated canvas from Z Gallerie! I loved that is was large enough to fill the space on the long wall and that it did not overpower the room. I think the true showstopper should be the detail of the cabinet and everything else should fall around and compliment that! Plus it captures the scene so familiar to Tiffany of the swanky dinner parties she promised to include us in on next time...Got my gold organza gown all ready to traipse through that new space!:)

One last before and after in case you missed anything:)!!
and happily ever AFTER: 

Hope you enjoyed the tour! Have a great week(end)
Cheers! {Laura}

Monday, March 17, 2014

Amazing brass hardware...with a 50's style table attached to it!

When I saw these tables stacked up in our local antique place, the star burst brass hardware had me at hello!! There wasn't going to be much about the table I couldn't like with a standout like that. This kind of detail, my friends, is what modern day furniture is lacking. Well, unless you want to pay some crazy price for unique characteristics. And these details are why thrifting is always necessary! But with thrifting comes refinishing and with refinishing comes fails! The end result was okay but I always live and learn and so I will pass on what I found on this one! 
The plan was to make them a part of my new front room plan! You may be sick of hearing about this project but I'm bringing it to you step by step as you oftentimes see the "before" and "after" of these room transformations and it seems like the magic wand was used and all the sudden they go from zero to awesome with what seems like little effort! Not not true! It's always a process but having a design plan really does work and keeps you on task without wanting to jump ship part way through! Here is the detail on the buffet I redid a couple months back for this same room and so it inspired the look for these new tables as well! 

I (or should I say, we) started by patching any scrapes or dents, sanding and vacuuming clean the dust before applying the "Kilz" brand primer. 
I use "Kilz" OIL based primer as we will use a black oil based paint to get the extra shine an oil base can provide mimicking a lacquered look! Here it is with the primer applied. I left the original gold paint on where it was as I originally planned to keep the gold and touch it up. In the later pictures you will see I changed my mind (it happens...a lot)! 
 And because every antique piece has a story it is always fun to uncover it!! Remember how I found old typed out sewing instructions for everything from outerwear to undies in my mid century sewing desk I turned into a homework desk? Well on this one I found the freight slip from Chicago dating these tables back to 1957 and valuing them at $274 back in the day! I paid $50 for each table! 
After I applied the Kilz oil based primer I applied 2 coats of the black oil based paint. I decided to try my luck on lacquer top coat rather than polyurethane which is what I would normally use. The guy did warn me that while I may get a tiny bit more shine from lacquer, it is harder to work with as it withstands no temperature changes and also overtime can flex and crack on things like chairs. Since I was applying inside the house and on a table, I thought no big deal. But during the height of my hallucinations (honestly, the MOST toxic stuff you can stick your face near) I decided to crack the window and the finish started to CRACK all over! WTF, and yes I yelled that in it's full form. Therefore, poly coating wins and the word lacquer is nearly blasphemy in my home. 
So after sanding it down, luckily I had not applied the lacquer to the whole piece, I repainted a top coat of the oil based black and finished with polyurethane in a gloss finish! I also used "Rub n Buff" in "Grecian Gold" to shine up the beautiful hardware, cause after all, that is what these tables are all about anyway! 

Here is the result!! 

Because these are 50's style tables I had to add these antique "Lenox" old school lighter and cigarette holder to the display! I set out into an antique place looking for anything that would have reminded me of my glamo-rama grandma Garton who would could have very well sat around with great company in a room like this having nothing other than great conversion and lots of laughs. 

Left to do on the room?! I need to get a white rug to anchor the sofa with the two chairs I need to refinish. I'm considering a white cable knit rug like this one!
Here are the chairs! they will go side by side facing the green couch with a small round table between them. They will both be sprayed black and then I need to find a black and white fabric for them. 

I also would like to incorporate some hot pink in a throw or in a pillow or two on the chairs or couch. When I photographed the tables I loved the hot pink color of my flowers with the yellow, green, black and gold. 

On another note...I sent off my dining room chairs to be recovered in this fabric and the big round dining table should be here any day!! 

Dining chair fabric:
Dining chairs to being recovered:
Can't wait to see it all together. Stay tuned! Is it starting to look like the plan?! I hope so! 

Cheers!! {Laura}

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