Jul 22 2014

{♥} inside our house: mid century rocking chair refurbish

A few months ago I was cleaning out Dave’s sock drawer and found his old watch.  Upon showing it to him, he remarked “I forgot how much I loved wearing a watch!”  And all of a sudden, this spawned a whole new obsession interest in watches for Dave.  (**this is going somewhere, I promise**) One day, after he had just bought another vintage watch online, I told him that I didn’t think it was fair for him to be buying watches when I had been asking for an arm chair for the living room for two years.  Our old ikea tub chair was okay, but the slipcover was wrecked and in our tiny living room it made that corner feel very cramped.  Dave told me that if I could find a vintage armchair like I was wanting for under $50 (the price of a vintage watch) I could get it.  I think Dave sometimes underestimates how determined I am.

I kept a constant craigslist window open on my computer with two tabs: one searching “vintage armchair” and the other “retro armchair”.  I refreshed them regularly (read: hourly) and it paid off:  I found this one for $20!  Although…it didn’t look like the picture above.  It looked like this:

The vinyl was not only in bad condition, but it was a really poor upholstery job.  They made no effort to hide staples, and it was just all around gross.  The wood had also been “refinished” at one point and though you can’t see it in the picture it was pretty terrible.

So somehow** I convinced Dave to strip off the finish of the wood and refinish it.  I bought fabric to recover it (from the thrift store no less!  It cost me $5!) and though it was the first time doing a reupholster that was more than just stapling (ie, dining room chairs) I think it turned out pretty nice!

Our tub chair now lives in Lucy’s room which is a bonus for when she wakes up at 3:30 in the morning and we need a comfy place to crash.


**I told Dave that if he wasn’t going to refinish the wood, I would.  Because, after all, how hard can refinishing wood really be?


Jul 7 2014

{♥} inside our house: vintage high chair refurbish

Last week on Canada Day, Dave and I headed out to Granny and Grumpas (a local “antique barn”) in search of a high chair for Lucy.  Our house is very tiny, and so we like to be really intentional about the kinds of furniture that we use.  Baby furniture has a tendency to be clunky and mismatched, not to mention often cheap feeling (because it’s always plastic).

We came across this lovely high chair tucked away in a corner and smelling strongly of cat urine (yay!) but looking like it needed us.  I’ve done my share of reupholstering but using vinyl was new to me.  This also meant doing vinyl piping at the seams, which I’m also new to.  Dave and I are always ready for the challenge of renewing an old item though so we brought it home for $25.

Here’s the finished product!  I originally wanted to do it in a yellow, but couldn’t find the right kind of yellow.  I really wanted to stay true to the era though, so this sea foam green did just the trick.

We started by taking the entire chair apart and cleaning it all.  We used steel wool to clean up the chrome to make it shiny and new (in the pictures I forgot to wipe some sticky baby fingerprints off of it…oops!)

After it was all stripped of it’s original vinyl, I traced out the new pieces.  In total, I used 1.5m of vinyl to cover it, and 2m of vinyl piping for the edges.  We stapled the vinyl on, working from the centres to the corners making sure to keep it nice and tight.  When we got to the corners we stapled the center of the corner, then smoothed out the folds as much as possible while we stapled. After we stapled on the vinyl for the top of the seat and front of the back (?!) we stapled the vinyl piping on, making sure to keep it even and as close to the edge as possible.

For the back piece (below) we spray glued the vinyl to it.  When we folded over the edges, we made sure to notch out all the rounds to keep it smooth.  After that, we laid it on to the chair and hammered it on with the finishing tacks.  Not bad for our first vinyl reupholster!  We were really happy to save this piece, especially since it was made in Canada!

Scroll down for more pictures – no high chair post would be complete without pictures of a cute baby eating cheerios.

Oh, I should mention that we are planning on adding a seat belt.  This little girl likes to stand, and already has tried numerous times to stand in her chair. :S

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Nov 3 2013

{♥} inside our home – lucy’s nursery

Lucy’s nursery was something that, like many new moms, I was so very excited to do.  I vowed that I wouldn’t do a pink nursery…but apparently that turned out to be almost impossible for me.  My inspiration point was an illustration I did a few years back of some birds.  I knew that I wanted the room to be light feeling since it was so small, so I decided to keep as much as possible (and practical) white and accent in colour where I could.

We were on a pretty small budget for the room.  In fact, the only thing that was really bought was the crib (we even got the mattress for free!)  Almost everything else was free/loaned/already owned/handmade.

The mobile was the cheapest craft.  I spent $2 on 4 sheets of felt, and $2 on some wooden dowels and made it in an afternoon.

The dresser is probable one of my favourite things in the room.  I found it on craigslist back in early summer.  There was no price, but it wasn’t listed in the free section so I emailed the guy and asked how much he wanted for it.  It’s a solid wood dresser (that had been painted) so I assumed he wanted something for it, but I assumed wrong!  It was free, so Dave went and picked it up that day.  Dave spent a lot of time sanding and painting the dresser.

The artwork that is above the dresser is all my own.  The birds were an illustration I did a while back (and the inspiration for the room), the “I Love Lucy” is a my own version of the TV show’s logo, and the song lyrics (Barenaked Ladies “La La La La Lemon”) are something that I drew out while Lucy was in the hospital.

The rocking chair in the corner was the one that my mom used with all of her kids.  It is on loan…for now.

We have a huge assortment of retro kids books that, let’s be honest, were never actually bought for Lucy.  Dave and I may or may not have always had a soft spot for vintage kids stuff.  Notice the My Little Pony below (one of *many*, that I’ve been collecting for a while) as well as the Care Bears that were given to Lucy by a friend.  The two teddy bears in the bottom corner were mine as a kid (Gund Bears).  They were my favourite stuffed animals (well, until my oversized stuffed orangutan Olly came along…but that’s a whole different story).

The bunny was something I made for Lucy when I was pregnant.  It started as a joke between Dave and I (“Everybunny loves Lucy!”), and turned into a cute little toy.  And lastly, I couldn’t leave out my sock monkeys Rockford Bernstein and his wife Lola, and their pet sock elephant Richard Dean.  These are the most well travelled sock critters, I’m sure (see the unfinished blog of their travels here)

Right now Lucy spends little to no time in the room as she sleeps in a cradle in our room.  I’m pretty excited though for when the room actually starts getting used for real as a little girls room.  Maybe I’ll even let Lucy play with some of my My Little Pony’s.  Maybe.

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Mar 20 2013


 Lately, I can’t stop thinking about redoing our bedroom.  A few months ago I got tired of our all white bedding showing every little mark from our critters who love to hang out on it.  I bought new bedding, (simple cyan coloured, no pattern) which at the time seemed great.  Although let’s be honest…I like me a neutral light coloured bed.

I started brainstorming over what I wanted to change and finally put my pinterest account to use (although I really still can’t get the hang of it.)  This duvet cover (left) totally jumped out at me.  At first I planned on making a quilt like this, but really, this duvet cover does the same thing.  I love the idea of lots of layers and pillows, although I still want it to look clean and modern. Something like this bed - modern, but still cozy looking.  I also think accent pillows in mustard would look fab against the grey and white.

Dave and I have been planning on getting a new bed frame, owing to the fact that ours will not survive another move (it’s barely being held together now).  Plus, Bigsby seems to think it’s the greatest scratching post ever made (it’s wicker).  Ideally, we would love a lovely solid walnut mid-century styled bed to match the rest of our bedroom furniture (the original bed frame that came with it was a double).  In real life, however, spending $2000 on a bed is a little bit…out of the question.  Thanks to Ikea, though, we found two beds [one] + [two] that match reasonably well with the rest of our furniture…fake wood, but hey, I wouldn’t expect anything solid for under $200.

As for artwork, we currently have a large painting of a west coast harbour by a Vancouver artist above our bed, but I’d like to move it to the living room.  I’m thinking of getting an engineering print done of one of my photographs (below).  It’s pretty cheap (about $10 for a 4ft x 2.5ft print!), and I like how it has a rougher look.

I still really want to make a quilt for the end of the bed and hope to do something in solid mustard yellow.  Since I have never made a quilt before though…we’ll see what happens.

I think the biggest thing is convincing Dave to let me paint the bedroom.  We’ll see how that goes…hah.  Right now it is white with a pink tint (ceiling and all). Lovely, right?  Thanks land-lady for your classy colour choice.  I used to have white furniture before we got our vintage set, and it looked absolutely miserable next to the tinted pink walls (the trim is all bright white, and my white furniture was antique white.  It made for a yucky looking combination).  I’d rather the walls be stark white, or maybe a very light shade of grey.

Add to all this a new area rug (one that doesn’t have stains all over it from house training a puppy)…

…and you have an expensive dream.  Maybe I’ll just do it one small throw pillow at at time.  ;)



Jan 15 2013

grown up

Let me just preface this post by thanking everyone for their kind words in the past little while. I know I haven’t been able to respond to everyone, but that doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you.  :)

And now for something completely different.

Dave and I officially feel like we have graduated into the grown-up group. Why is that, you ask? We bought a couch. A COUCH ladies and gentlemen. We have only ever had a small love-seat in our living room, and it’s always so cramped when we have guests over. So now we can seat 4 people in our living room, instead of 3. Ha. The best part of this whole couch buying extravaganza is that we went to the store to buy a saucepan…and came out with a couch**. It’s so very comfortable as well (which our last love-seat was NOT).

So now that we have enough seating for 4 people in our living room, you can bet we are going to have some wild crazy parties.

PS: I suppose I could have put on my wide angle lens and taken a picture of the whole couch…but I couldn’t be bothered to open up my camera bag.  I’m two days off of caffeine and the world looks like an ugly place.  Extra effort just seems so lame right now.

**We had been saving up to buy a new bed frame, so it wasn’t that impulsive. The bed frame will still be there in a few months, but this couch was on clearance at 80% off. It was most likely not going to be there much longer.**

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