Tagged: decor

Color Conundrum. Please Help! P.S. Weekend Paint Sale

I would like to introduce you to our front porch when we first moved in.

IMG_1809  IMG_1768

Lots of charm… along with water damage, peeling paint and super sweet paneling…

Thankfully the porch already had a new roof so the initial water problem was solved but it was time to repair the damage of the fascia and trim.

This was a pretty easy fix.  Even found the matching trim. We were very thankful to find that none of the actual structure was damaged, just rot on the exterior.  (Thanks dear husband for letting me direct you!)


After this I may have gotten a little curious to see what was under that paneling…


woooohooooo there is something there!!

After this I started to realize that at some point a previous owner built up the knee-wall a few inches and chopped off the column bases. The floor has a decent slope to it (which may or may not have been original) – it does appear that they built up this area to correct the slope on the roof but left everything else as is.

We assessed the rest of the porch and noted a few other areas of rot in the floor, large pieces of the sill plate around the porch were also missing. After a couple defeating trips to the lumber yard and salvage warehouse decided it was time to call someone who knew what they were doing.

This week has been much fun see things get repaired. We were very lucky to find little rot in the real porch structure however we did have carpenter ant’s on one side that could have done a lot more damage if it went longer unchecked!

So in the end we are getting a porch “tune-up” everything will be safe and sound, missing pieces replaced, bases on the columns, less dramatic slope to the floor. Everything is looking much much more proportional.


We are happily reusing the beadboard on the wall that was covered up and I found some matching pieces at the salvage warehouse to replace any rotted or broken boards. We just have a couple days of work left!

But now here is the trouble! COLOR TROUBLE!

We will be painting the entire house in another week. The white clapboard wall will become this beautiful blue teal. BEHR Premium Plus 8 oz. #S450-6 Tornado Season Interior/Exterior Paint SampleBEHR Premium Plus Ultra 1-gal. #S350-6 Truly Olive Satin Enamel Interior Paint

The columns and all the trim will pop in the white while the knee-wall will have a fun accent of olive.

That leaves the glorious dark wood bead-board ceiling which get cleaned and a fresh coat of poly. Now about the floor… this is where I need opinions! I work with mega amounts of color all week long in the studio which can leaved me drained when it is time to come home.

I would say 60-70% of the paint is already gone off of the porch floor so it could either be painted again or sanded and stained. I think a classic warm grey floor would be a love option – again I could paint or stain. I could also embrace that mix of old growth fir and new mahogony and stain it a more traditional wood color. My worry is that the dark floor and ceiling could compress the space.

BEHR Premium 8-oz. #ST144 Gray Seas Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing Wood Stain Sample

grey seas – stain

BEHR Premium Plus Ultra 1-gal. #N380-5 Naturalist Gray Semi-Gloss Enamel Exterior Paint

naturalist – paint

BEHR Premium 1-gal. #ST-110 Chestnut Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing Wood Stain

chestnut – stain

I have never had to maintain an open porch so any suggestions would be appreciated. Since I am sure areas will need to be shoveled in the snow will it be better to stain so there is less risk of chipping? Or will the paint be more resistant? Oh homeownership – do I over think things?

OHHHHHHHHHH! Also Home Depot is having a sale until July 6th – $10 rebate on Behr Paint and stains soooo run! (generally I only see $5 off)

Thank you interwebs people for your help!


A Facelift for the Deck

When we moved into our house we were happy that there was a fairly new small deck that the previous owners had built. Sure it was not really finished… but that was something we could handle.


We planned on trimming the excess boards down and putting some kind of face board on. However it only took two days of me staring at those 2 giant seams to decide that this needed to be a bigger project if I was going to have to look at it for a good number of years.


once you notice the seam you can’t unsee it!!

Props to anyone who takes it on themselves to build a deck. It takes a little while longer but if you are using only 8′ boards you may want to think about staggering them – of course this is my personal taste and I do not mean any disrespect to the previous owners who put this in.

After a couple of quick youtube videos to introduce ourselves to the world of decking we set off to unscrew, cut and put the top board back on. We also flipped the “up” side of many of the boards to reduce cupping depending on the grain of the wood. This inadvertently created a beautiful variegated pattern!


I was the master cutter and planner while Kevin did the majority of driving.


Here is Baxter enjoying his new yard!

We did have to add a few boards by the end and of course close off around the open edges. It has been a good few weeks that it was time to stain it! I like the natural color but I we figured we would try a semi-transparent stain since we will have plenty of maintenance to keep up with elsewhere in the house.



now I better keep going on the garden!

Settling In


It has been a couple of weeks since our big move and we are getting settled in to our new apartment.

Here is a sneak peak at me new sewing room!


I still have some cleaning and organizing but it is getting there. I now have a large closet to house my fabrics, however that little pup-pup keeps climbing right in and helping himself.

Most of this was just transplanted from my last apartment but I want to share the older posts on the curtains and cutting/pressing table.

I also wanted to share this fantastic print called “Alice’s Sewing Basket” from artist Jillian Nickell. I bought the print at the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philly last spring but finally found a frame and got a mat cut for it. Looking back at her etsy page now I remember how much I enjoy all of her work, hmmm I may need to purchase some more of her prints.


The moving process has been quite successful and I may be able to share the new living room with you soon but I still need to pick up a few more pieces (great craigslist coffee table coming today!) So check back soon.

Pattern Matching – sewing tip

I know I had a previous entry about pattern matching but this one is a little different. I cut the adorable birdie fabric that I mentioned in my last post and I am ready to make some valances. Generally when sewing clothing I don’t run into the issue of having to match widths of fabric together, however when talking about home dec… this is something that you can’t escape (unless of course you just always choose solids.)

Here are two widths of fabric that I have side by side so you can see what I am talking about.


When cutting fabric in this case you need to be aware of the pattern and cut with the repeat. Here I used the flower motif as a starting point, each straight cut across the width would be started at this point in the pattern. That way if you need to sew them side by side it will be one continuous repeating pattern.

So here is the hard part… actually sewing it so it looks good.

Sometimes you can get away with just lining up the printers marks (the crosshatch and colored circles on the selvage) and sewing a half inch or more. Sometimes you can also just keep peeking as you sew to make sure things are lined up, but this works best for bigger patterns and more geometric designs.

Now for the birdies, and generally any kind of swirling or more complicated design I take a different approach. In the picture below you can see that I pressed my top edge back so I can see a little piece of the print. I then line up my fabric pieces, right sides together while the one pressed edge will allow me to see part of the pattern.

Line up your pattern but offset it to the right just a smidge, cross your fingers and pray, then sew.


I use the inside edge of my presser foot as a guide right along the pressed edge of my upper fabric. Since we offset the match, the placement of your needle ends up being in the perfect place.




not quite perfect but I think it is acceptable.

Hopefully that made sense to you… let me know if it was a little confusing and I can try to explain when I am more awake…

Fabric that makes me go “SQUUUEEEEEEEEEE”

My wonderful sister asked me an eternity ago a little while ago to make her window treatments for her new apartment. We discussed simple classic gathered valances for the kitchen. She originally wanted something a little kitschy like chickens, so I marched into my local fabric store intending to find something to live up to her expectations. 

Then I saw this!



Who needs chickens when you have these adorable birdies?

When I sent the pic for approval I was met with sheer excitement along the lines of “OMG BIRDIE BIRDIE BIRDIE BIRDIE BIRDIE!!!!”

Approval – Check!

Now after finishing up a few other projects on my plate (and some relaxation time) I am ready to get these valances going!

Let’s Make a Match! Pattern match that is…

First off I would like to wish you a Happy Saturday! I have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. Why? Sometimes you need a weekend without anywhere to be or anything to do (except projects of course.)

I wanted to share another thrift store barrel chair update – this project has actually been going very fast…when I work on it that is. I probably could have done the whole thing over a weekend but I guess I am on the 3 month plan?

So I have decided to pseudo slip cover then upholster the chair, this was how it was originally done anyway. I found this fabulous silver quilted curtain panel at BB&B a while ago that was marked down to $6 for this tiny like stain (stain that washed right out.)

*If you are trying to find fabric never underestimate the power of premade items, it may end up cheaper than any length of fabric. Think curtain panels, shower curtains, table cloths, etc.

My panel was 120″ long… you can’t find nice fabric for under $2 a yard (or if you can please share your secret!)

Anyway silver pattern means that cutting out my pieces will be a little trickier.

1. I have to be aware of the pattern, or your eyes will alert you to something very wrong when yo are all done.

2. I have to cut all my pieces in the same direction (even if there was no pattern, any kind of shiny fabric has a “nap” and if you change the direction of your pieces the you might as well have you used 2 different colors of fabric)

This applies if you are making clothing as well – so general fabric matching tips!

Anyway I had my pattern pieces laid out and I found where the widest section of the chair was (closer to the top) and drew a line across my pieces at this spot. This is where you want your pattern to match. When I say match I don’t really care about what it looks like at the seams, you can’t have a perfect match to the actual motif if you have any shaped seams so don’t stress yourself out!

What really matters is that this line/point is on the same area of the motif  for each pattern piece – visually you will see your seams but there will be a continuous run horizontally of your pattern across this chosen point (and for the most part it will fall into place elsewhere.)

does that make sense? think if you had a striped fabric and the stripes were going horizontal – you would want your red stripe to match with the red stripe at the seam otherwise complete chaos would be unleashed on your eyeballs. Image

I know the motif on my fabric is a little hard to see but it was pretty easy, I could draw a straight line through the diamonds and match it with my straight line on my pattern pieces.

If you are working on clothing, again pick some of the most prominent areas to use as a standard match point such as your bust line or hips.

*I know I previously said not to worry about what happens to the motif at your seam but I lied, just don’t think you need to try to match one half of a flower with the other half (or whatever your fabric may look like.) I would however just keep an eye on the surroundings of your seam, you may have a large motif and it can look a little awkward if you end up with the same piece of the motif close together.  Practice Practice, and you will get it.

Twist it, Hit it, Bop it, Pin it

quick post for today. While I really should be cleaning… I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the mighty upholstery twist pin. Image

These things are AMAZING to have if you have slipcovers. I originally picked them up from Joann’s years ago with the intention of getting a slipcover for my sad sad sad sofa. As with most things, I completely forgot I had these until this weekend.

I am in the process of reupholstering/slipcovering a chair. It is easiest to just leave the current fabric on only to find out I could not staple where I had intended to. Luckily I remembered these hiding in a drawer and they are holding everything in place just great. It just twists into the the layers of fabric and a cushion will hide the pins from view.

So if you are tired of a slipcover sliding around or find yourself with lacking staplability… try out these wonderful creations.

p.s. I will share the chair once it is done and we can discuss working with patterns and repeats.