Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dining Room Chairs and Buffet Update

Here is a sneak peak of the progress I have made in my dining room over the past few weeks. The chairs and buffet I purchased from the Salvation Army are almost finished and have already found permanent homes in my dining room.

I sanded the chairs lightly and applied a few coats of polyurethane to protect the wood. The seats were in bad shape and needed to be replaced. I removed the old covering and will use this very popular fabric from Calico Corners called Kalah blue.

It was a challenge to find something which would coordinate with the yellow checked curtains, tan and white fabric on the existing chairs as well as the rug in the foyer. Kalah blue tied the two spaces together perfectly and was the right scale. I was hesitant at first because this fabric is fairly light weight and more suited to curtains. We rarely eat in the dining room, however, so I am hopeful it will ware well. My fabric order should be here next week so I will be completing the chair covers soon. Look for the tutorial on this process in another week or so.

The buffet was painted, glazed and slightly distressed. Love how it looks now! The entire room feels more cohesive with both the chairs and the buffet dressed in the same finish.

The mirror I ordered for above the buffet is on back order until January. I took advantage of the empty space and the upcoming holiday season to hang a fresh wreath with a simple white bow. The rug should be here by the end of next week.

From the pictures you can see I have also begun to add a few Christmas decorations. I will be posting a complete tour of this room as well as other parts of my house soon.

Linking to some of my favorite parties HERE

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Stocking Design

I just finished making stockings for my family and they were just too cute not to share.

A bit oversized at 22” tall, this stocking features a three tiered ruffle top of alternating layers of linen and muslin. Of course my daughter wanted me to make one for her in pink!

Last year you may remember I created four different stocking designs out of ivory burlap for my Christmas mantel.

This year I decided to go with four stockings of the same design.

I picked up my Christmas wreaths today and will post pictures of my completed mantel in the next week or so. Yes, I am still working on my Salvation Army furniture find as well as finishing up the curtains for my living room! Things have been a bit crazy but I will have lots of finished projects to share soon.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these stockings they can be found in my Etsy store.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fantastic Furniture Find!

Long time followers of RDH know that when it comes to bargains and freebies I have been very fortunate. Much of my house is furnished with roadside finds, hand-me-downs and thrift store purchases. Needless to say, my house definitely has a “collected over time” look. My luck continued last weekend when I came across this buffet / sideboard at my local Salvation Army thrift store.

I looked it over quickly but did not even ask the price the first time I saw it. When I called back the next day, I was told the buffet was part of a set and could not be purchased separately. If I wanted the buffet I would need to also buy the table and six chairs which had been donated at the same time. My other option was to pay for the set and then donate what I did not want back to the store.

At first I was not sure about the table and chairs. After some thought, however, I realized keeping all the pieces was a good thing. You see my dining room craigslist table only came with four chairs. I also am partial to having a mix of chairs rather than a completely matched set. The table will most likely find a home in my basement and be used for crafts and playing games. So yes, I kept everything!

From the pictures above, you can see I took advantage of the warmer than normal weather to already begin the refinishing process. The sideboard and table legs will be painted and glazed. The chairs and table top will be sanded and varnished. I will be posting the after pictures soon.

So how much did I spend? I spent a total of $150 for everything – less than $20 per piece! I was thrilled to say the least. Other than the freebies on the side of the road, I think this may have been my best furniture find ever.

Do you have a favorite furniture bargain story? I would love to hear it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Paperwhites – Step Number One in My Holiday Preparations

Creative Home / Photographer – Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

The official start of the holiday season begins for me when I plant my paperwhites. I head to my local garden center where the bulbs can be purchased individually instead of pre-packaged. They are less expensive this way and I can choose the best ones. It seems every year I buy more bulbs than the previous year. I guess I just can’t seem to get enough of these pretty white flowers during the holidays!

You may remember last year I wrote about one of my favorite holiday hostess gifts – a single paperwhite in a vintage tea cup. This year I did more of the same as well as add some new pots to my repertoire for my own house.

For several months I have been collecting milk glass vessels in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each one cost between twenty-nine and ninety-nine cents. Many of these will undoubtedly end up in the hands of friends as well.

At the moment the containers are all housed on my kitchen table. I am always amazed at how even the simplest items become more important and beautiful when placed together. Although I do love how this grouping looks, I am sure they will be moved once I begin decorating in earnest.

You may also have noticed I have mixed in some simple baby tear plants with the paperwhites. My only holiday decorating plan this year is to simplify and use natural elements. We’ll see how it all turns out!

So, how do you begin your holiday decorating? Is there a tradition in your family which signals the beginning of the holidays?

Linking to a few of my favorite parties HERE

Monday, November 8, 2010

Your Basement Bookcase and Bench Questions Answered

Better Homes and Gardens / Photographer – John Bessler 
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

As part of our basement remodel, our contractor constructed this pretty bookcase (above) and bench (below). It was originally shown in the July 2009 edition of Better Homes and Gardens and has since been republished in several BH&G publications including 100 Decorating Ideas – Big Style for Small Rooms, Remodel, and 100 Ideas – Real Rooms.

100 Decorating Ideas Big Style for Small Rooms / Photographer – John Bessler
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

It has now reappeared in the January 2011 edition of BH&G’s Remodel.

Better Homes and Gardens Remodel / Photographer – John Bessler
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

As a result, I have received many emails and phone calls asking for additional information. Many of you asked if we built it ourselves and what are the overall dimensions of the entire unit. I am very flattered by all the interest and am so happy to help.

No, we did not build the bookcase and bench. We worked closely with our contractor to design something which would fit the space visually, add storage and display areas, and make the basement entrance more functional. Needless to say, we are thrilled with how it turned out.

As far as the measurements are concerned, much of what we did was dictated by the height of the adjoining wall. You will notice from the pictures this built-in unit is attached to a half wall with windows. The length was determined by the placement of the columns. Here are the dimensions we used:

100 Decorating Ideas Real Rooms / Photographer – John Bessler
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

100 Decorating Ideas Big Style for Small Rooms / Photographer – John Bessler
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications 

If you have any other questions please let me know. Also, if you have used these pictures as inspiration for your own project I would love to see photos and hear from you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bedroom Makeover on Ohdeedoh!

I was thrilled to learn today my daughter’s bedroom makeover is included in Ohdeedoh’s annual celebration contest of colorful kids' rooms called “Small Kids, Big Color.”

They are featuring a wonderful array of submissions – full of great ideas for kids’ rooms of all ages. My daughter’s room will only be up for 48 hours. I hope you will take a peak and vote for your favorites!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Funny French Looking Side Table

I mentioned earlier, when it comes to decorating I usually take the unplanned approach. I tend to dive into projects and then figure out all the missing details later. (Perhaps this is why I can never declare rooms in my house completely finished? I have no ending point!) Finding things rather than actively searching for specific items is great fun for me. So a few weekends ago I was thrilled to add another piece of the puzzle to my living room redo.

I came across this funky table at one of my favorite local shops – Schuyler Pond Home and Garden. It is a funny little French looking table with a marble top. It almost looks unbalanced as the top is bigger than the bottom. I think it was this quirkiness which made me like it in the first place. After close inspection, Mr. RDH believes it was pieced together from two different tables. Oh well!

When I first placed it in the room I was convinced the gold metal legs needed to be painted. Black? White? Pewter? I could not decide so I did nothing. After living with the table for a little while I am now leaning towards leaving it as is – at least for a bit longer. The finish mimics that of the mirror and chandelier and has grown on me. As you know I am always up for painting project but for now this one will have to wait.

Update: Thanks to everyone who voiced their opinion in my curtain fabric dilemma. I have made my decision – a secret for now – and will be showing you the new curtains soon!
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