Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fast and Fun Thanksgiving Hostess Gift

Invited to a holiday meal? Offer to make a table decoration, to help out your host/hostess and add to the table's festive vibe.

I was invited to a big Thanksgiving meal this year and wanted to up the offering to more than the usual side dish (sure I'm happily bringing roasted potatoes), so I offered to make the place cards. The hostess helpfully sent me a list of names (all correctly spelt) and advised me of the color of her dishes and linens.  I got busy,  and here are the cards, easily put together with some stickers from a craft store (I got mine at Pearl Paint in New York City) and colored paper from Staples. The big turkeys designated our big-hearted hosts Christine and Carter.
Can't wait for the turkey!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chair re-do in Max's room at Beach Rose Cottage

Max and his grandpa (Tom Forrestall) sit up in Max's room reading together. 

Closet Door re-do

Hi all,
Here's another little inexpensive re-do I did recently on the closet doors in my son Max's bedroom at Beach Rose Cottage. The closet doors in Max's room had never been finished and the unpainted wood doors and knobs stuck out and drew your eye to them, in his all white and aqua color-schemed room. I found some "on sale" seafoam blue/green glass door knobs/pulls at the Anthropologie store a few blocks from our NYC apartment ( that were a perfect darker hued color match for the seafoam blue/green painted floors. When you're thinking about these home projects in a more remote rural area it's often best to source decorative accents "from away" and bring them back, as often the local choices are very limited and you see the same accents in every home. It's nice to be different! To begin, I unscrewed the doors and took them outside to our "folk art" garage to work on. I started with a light sanding to both sides of the doors, then applied two coats of white semi-gloss  paint. Then I screwed in the door knobs and carried the doors back upstairs and with honey Kerry's help,  screwed them back in place. Total cost $18 for the paint and the knobs were marked down to $7 each, for a total of approximately $32 in materials and less than 3 hours of labor. Voila! A small job that made a big visual improvement impact in a cozy little room. We love the fresh look this very inexpensive project gave to Max's room. And he loved it too!

Close up of the pretty antique detailing to the 
glass door pulls from Anthropologie that I put on Max's closet doors at Beach Rose Cottage
recently. Changing door knobs (or drawer pulls)
 is one of the quickest and least expensive 
ways to update or improve the look of a door
 or cupboard drawer. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Before shot of Chair Re-do

The before shot of the "free for the taking" chair.

Upholstered Found Chair Re-do

I've always wanted to tackle an upholstered chair project and this summer I finally did it. Our plans at our country house "Beach Rose Cottage" in Nova Scotia this summer, was to try to stay there for as long as possible. To stretch our "holiday" money to make that happen meant no spending money on our house this summer. But my son Max's bedroom was a little sparse and I wanted him to have a place to sit and read and draw. Driving up our rural route road I spotted a sign by the side of the road "Free Furniture" and what appeared to be a nice looking desk and chair combo was set out. My husband (who was driving) whizzed by with me saying "Can't we sto-o-o-o-op?" He relented, pulled over I went to inspect, he backed up, I got to take the desk and chair home. The chair was very sturdy, heavy wood and in perfect condition other than the ugly, scuffed and chipped off white paint job and the not-gonna-work-for-Max pink paisley fabric on the seat cushion. Started by unscrewing the wood/foam cushion. Then did a quick 20-minute sanding job with a textured scuffing sponge from any hardware store ($3) and two coats of paint (I had some left over) and the chair was looking pretty good. I didn't have a staple gun (and couldn't find one in the closest 700-person town) so I just used a regular stapler to attach first the double layer of clean new white fabric and then the pretty, solid aqua colored linen fabric that matched the color I painted his bedroom floor, on top of that. Then I rescrewed the wood/foam/fabric covered cushion to the chair. Voila! Max was a happy camper showing off his "new" desk and chair to all our guests who dropped by for the rest of the summer.