Clothed At Last, Clothed At Last, Thank God Almighty…

March 16th, 2009
I am not ashamed to admit that my idea of a good time on a weeknight is a martini and a date with Mr. Singer (my sewing machine). I am in love with him, but he is not that into me. I know he is not enamored with me because I lack sewing talent. I can thread the little guy, and run a straight stitch, but that’s all folks. Mr. Singer longs for a gal with better skills than mine. Nevertheless, I know enough to accomplish my next task: clothing the naked wall.

Meet my naked wall. Ever since the remodel of 2006 (the lost year), when we reconfigured our floorplan to incorporate a separate living room, this wall has taunted me. So exhibitionist in its nakedness, constantly reminding me that it lacked any coverings whatsoever. I would walk past it everyday, hanging my head *sigh*, holding fast to my “don’t decorate all at once, take your time, get it right” philosophy. But naked wall was wearing me down.

Ballard Designs is one of my go-to catalogue’s for inspiration. I saw them advertising a party table and custom slipcover option in burlap. Burlap. Okay, I know some designers are into it, but if you ask me, burlap belongs in a barn. I’m a soft texture kind of gal. [Don't de-friend me if you like burlap.] But it wasn’t their fabric choice that got me so much as the PRICE. For a 42″ square party table they’re asking $129. For the custom fabric tablecloth, they’re asking an additional <*choke, cough, gag*> $217 to $457. Um, I think that’s a crime in some states.

[Confession: this look is kind of gorgeous]

Here’s my party table (48″ x 24″) that’s been collecting cobwebs for a year in my garage. I purchased it last year at Home Depot for $20 to use for parties.

I went to the local fabric store and practically stole this gorgeous embroidered linen fabric on sale for $6 a yard (orig $15 a yard). I hemmed the bottom with what I call the “double foldover” hem job.

Then I cut the top piece, and just like making a slipcover, I attached the fabric pieces together with pins (inside out). A few seams and 90 minutes later, I had myself a custom tablecloth. Check out this beautiful embroidery in the fabric. I also added some bronze trim around the seam, just to up the ante.

Then I got my end chairs at my dining room table to file for legal separation from the rest of my dining room set. They were bored there anyway and needed some space. With a new makeover (see this post), my dining room chairs now sit next to my Ballard style table. A few weeks ago, I ordered a set of four Paris prints from JCPenney on clearance for $129 (with free shipping!) Iron the linen tablecloth, add a few decorative items, and voila !

I amuse myself and say this is all temporary of course, because I covet this sofa from Crate and Barrel for the same wall and someday will talk Mr. CG into this worthy investment.

Until then, I am glad naked wall is clothed at last.


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DIY: Chair Recovered (from boredom)

March 14th, 2009
Meet my boring dining room chair. Decent queen anne style, nice quality cushion, drab fabric. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Remedy? New glam fabric, nailhead trim, and decorative pillow.
Ingredients for makeover: fabric cut to size, staple gun, screwdriver, nailhead trim, decorative pillow.

Every DIYer needs a few power tools. I rob Mr. CG’s stash in the garage. I’ve got a crush on this power cordless screwdriver for its muscle and speed.

Remove cushion. Center seat on sturdy flat surface on the fabric pattern. Staple once at top, bottom, and sides, then work your way around with the staple gun positioning fabric just right. Corners are tough so reduce speed of stapling as you go around the bend.

Reattach new seat cushion. Add nailhead trim. (I used a french natural nailhead trim kit that includes 10 yards of nailheads. Easy to use because you only hammer every 5th nailhead.) Don’t forget to use rubber mallet to hammer in nailheads.

Add decorative pillow. Here’s my instant makeover in about one hour.

Queen Anne is much improved after the royal treatment, don’t you think?

Here are some other nailhead trim chairs available out there:

Ballard Designs Louis chair, $559

Overstocks ‘Montgomery’ dining chair with nailhead trim, $520

Salisbury & Manus ‘Louise’ Chair, $850 without fabric

Carrington Court leather dining chair, $300

St. Germain chair by Ralph Lauren Home, $1,725


Albemarle Dining Chair by Tomlinson/Erwin Lambeth, $2,725

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