Shelves for Books

For the longest time the back wall of the office has looked like this (just not as clean):

Office

Not so pretty and actually pretty useless.  Those boxes next to the table have been packed for nine years believe it or not.  NINE!  They were packed up when I was first moving in with Jake and they went to storage, then they came out of storage when we finally bought the house 3 years ago and there they have sat every since.  It was time to empty the boxes.

We settled on these bookcases from Ikea for a few reasons.  We really liked the glass doors (no dusting!) and the drawers were going to be a great way to change up the look and add lots of storage solutions for us. So we built them as one does with Ikea furniture:

Ikea Pieces

Lots and lots of pieces!  Then put on some tunes and assemble for about 1.5 hours.

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Then the drawers. Ahh… the drawers.  Agonizing, is all I’ll say. I employed a screw gun at this point as I had really had enough.

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Luckily the doors come pre-assembled and installed very easily, so our back corner made a pretty easy transformation to give us a ton of added storage and shelves to style.

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Now, I bet you’re wondering why there’s no photos of them styled.   What happened to all of those books I talked about storing for 9 years?  Well, turns out in the past nine years this handy dandy tool called a Kindle came to be, which has replaced all those Nicolas Sparks novels and books by Alex Cross.  It’s my own fault…I should have opened them sooner!  I didn’t realize I had kept so many novels as I usually don’t!  I kept my copies of Jane Eyre and some classics, but gave the others to donation for someone else to enjoy!

So, there you have it.  An unstyled, unfinished, but perfectly functional solution to one more room in our house.  We’ve yet to organize the drawers and contents and I’ve hardly placed anything I really want for the long term on the shelves. We’re working on adding in more wood tones to balance the feminine white and aqua we already have in here, as well as incorporating some deeper blues. Completely un-Pinterest worthy, isn’t it?  But like this whole house, this room is a work in progress and it’s not always about the perfection of a space, but about the steps getting there.

Are you working on any functional but un-pinterest worthy projects? Do you have any boxes you haven’t unpacked for nearly a decade to find out you need nothing inside?  Tell me I’m not the only one!  🙂

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Recovered Chairs (& the dreaded sewing machine)

I actually started this project back in early November and it took me until right before New Years to finish it.  See the two chairs in our office?

Office

They are a great height and shape for the space and I loved that we had two and they matched.  Would I like something else later on like a neat wicker chair like this?  Sure!  But for now these are perfectly fine except for the color.  As I mentioned, we had gone out and done some revamping to the master bedroom duvet and got some new curtains (still working on that!).  Well the ones that we had in there for a short time actually appeared to work really well as covers for these two chairs.  The only problem – some sewing would have to be required. (gasp!)

First things first I took the chairs apart with an allen wrench.  If you don’t have a set of these at home, get one – especially if you like IKEA.  Small lazy puggle for this work is optional.Before

Deconstructed Then I took a pair of scissors and cut the bottom hem and the grommet top off the curtains so I would have a rough cut of fabric.

Fabric 2

Fabric Layout

So then I was able to cut the pieces out for the seat and the back.  The seat was the easy part.  All you’ll need is the fabric and a staple gun.  I’ve got a light duty stapler that I picked up at Joann’s for another project.  Just pull tight and staple away!

Fabric Staple

I stapled the front and back of the cushion first then went for the corners so I could get them done tight and clean.  I just trimmed and folded the fabric until I had a nice clean line and stapled it into place.

Fabric Edges

And repeated in the other corners and edges until I was done.  Piece of cake!

Seat Done

The back is where I got held up for the month.  I’ll head out and grab a nail gun, a miter saw, a jig saw or whatever, but a sewing machine seems to scare me beyond all other mechanisms.  And all I had to do was sew two straight seams per chair!  Once I gathered my courage up, my sewing machine and me sat down and had a little chit-chat about tension strengths and correct bobbin threading and finally seemed to be on the same page.   Since I was so concerned about this step however I have no pictures.  I got so wrapped up in making sure I didn’t mess it up too badly.  But here’s what I did.

Think of this type of chair back as a pillow case essentially.  All you need to do is fold the fabric around one side and sew a seam at the top and along the side like noted here.

Before 2

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I managed to do just that and the fit was nice and snug once I pulled the “pillow case” over the chair back.  A few more trimming and staples on the bottom being sure to work around the chair legs and I had me some newly covered chairs!

DSCN3436 Sewing LinesThey look much better in the room together now.

Office After

These curtains were $25 for the pair, but since I had bought these for another room and turned out they didn’t work, this was essentially a $0 project for me.  All I needed was a little courage to face the sewing machine!

Any of you have a tool you dread using?  Tips for other sewing novices?

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A Wingback Fit for a Queen OR King!

Hello!  Can I just get an Amen for TGIF!?!  Phew!

Anyway, quick update for you and for our home office!  We cleaned and organized it (mentioned here), but it’s still very much a work in progress (like most of our rooms!).  I’ve been on the hunt for an office chair, even  though I still have books that have been in boxes for over 7 years.  It’s about priorities, people!  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know that I finally found the right chair at Home Goods yesterday!

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I really want to get some bookcases and storage like this or this and place them along the wall opposite the desk and put a reading chair and ottoman in front.  You know, a cozy den type feeling.  At some point during the summer I came across a chair on Wayfair that I thought would work really well.  I loved the fabric and the colors in the fabric and also loved that it might help me bring another color into the room.

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Notice I didn’t blog about it?  Yeah.. I didn’t love it either.  The patterned roman shades with the chair weren’t doing it for me.  The all white room with the creamy color of the chair weren’t jiving either.  It has a nice wide and deep seat which makes it comfortable to sit in, but the back isn’t tall enough to really curl up into, you know?  Besides the pattern was a little feminine, but I do want Jake to feel like this is his room too. So, although I like the chair,  I wasn’t loving it in this space and was already planning on selling.

Then this beauty appeared as I rounded an aisle.  I literally gasped out loud and stopped dead in my tracks.  Then I quickly regained my senses and hustled over to defend look at my soon-to-be purchase.

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The tall wing back is perfect for leaning against and curling up in.  The fabric is like a cotton-linen type and the small nails attaching it to the frame are exposed giving it a rustic feel.  I also feel in love with the legs. They’re worn and scratched and just charming making it feel kinda rustic-chic (that’s a genre, right?).  Have I mentioned the color yet??  I was thinking of going with a dark grey in here, but this is perfect!  It matches the blue color in the roman shades, but is still cool enough to feel sophisticated and not too girly (remember, I’m striving to let Jake in this room after all). 🙂

We got it out of the car and situated just this morning, so I only have a few cell phone pictures, but already I can tell I’m going to love it.

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Birdie seems to like it too!  Welcome home chair! And thank you, Home Goods!  You’ve come through for me once again! Now maybe I’ll get the urge to put some bookcases in…or a dark wood laminate floor first..  hmmmmm…..

Anyone else picking up unexpected, can’t live without finds?  Or laminate flooring?? Have a great weekend!

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