29 June 2012

Off To Vegas, Baby!!

We're on our way to Las Vegas! Wooo! 

We have 3 kids and 2 dogs with us and we're going there to see family. So you won't see me posting any pictures of myself dancing on top of a craps table. 

But it'll be fun; I'm really looking forward to spending a week there! I can not wait to take a delicious bite out of an In-N-Out burger.  

So since I'm in Vegas mode, I thought I'd share a few pictures of some high-end homes in sin city. 

 House 1:

House 2:

House 3: 

House 4: 

House 5: 

I love the exterior of house 1, the pool from house 2, the driveway from house 3, the view from house 4, and the inside of house 5! (except you know that giant wood wall would be white!)

*Pictures via

28 June 2012

How I Distressed My Ottoman's Legs

 If you missed it, here's yesterday's post about turning my coffee table into an upholstered ottoman. 

One of the big changes I made to this table (besides covering it in fabric) was to it's legs.
When this was a table, they were painted white. 

When I decided to turn the table into an ottoman, I had a really hard time deciding what I wanted to do to the legs. Part of me wanted to do the easy thing and just leave them white, but the other part of me wondered if I would like this particular shade of white with the ottoman fabric. Keeping in mind some plans I have for the couch, I kept thinking I would probably like the legs better if they were dark. 

Still, I waited until the 11th hour to decide. 
Then the night before this table got turned into an ottoman, I raced outside with it's legs and started sanding the paint away. 

My plan was to just strip away all the paint with a heavy grit sandpaper, and then stain the legs a dark walnut color. 
But then as I started sanding, the leg was looking like this:

and I was really liking it. I found myself purposely not sanding off some of the paint because I thought it looked cool with those left over spots still on it. 

So my plan changed again, and I decided that instead of evenly stained legs, I wanted to go for a more aged, weathered look. I thought it would mix with some of the more modern decor items I have in a cool way. 

So all the legs got sanded with a rough grit sandpaper. I didn't bother doing much to the bottom since that part was getting chopped off anyway. 

Then I brushed on a dark walnut stain, painting it on heavier in some spots than others. I only left it on long enough to get the stain applied to all of them. Then I immediately went back and started wiping the stain away with a rag. 

Then I gave them a coat of Poly-crylic and left them out to dry. 

By this time it was too dark out to take pictures so here's one of the legs in our living room the next morning. 

If we'd be seeing this entire thing all the time it'd be way too much distressing for me. (Besides you know I'm not the hugest fan of wood.)
But since we only see like half of this, it's not overwhelming in the room and the weathered touch looks cool with the ottoman fabric. 

27 June 2012

Turning A Coffee Table Into An Ottoman

As promised, here's how my husband & I turned this:

into this:

I started by removing both drawers and all the legs from the coffee table. {And if you remember, it then sat in our living room like this for 2 weeks.}

The legs got their own quick makeover the night before we did the table. (-More on that in another post- I'm trying to keep this one from being a mile long.)

We got started by shortening the legs. The coffee table was already bordering on too tall for our couch so as an ottoman it needed to be much shorter so we could stretch our legs out on it without them being higher than our butts on the couch. Cause that would look weird. 

When deciding how many inches should come off the legs, we had to determine how high I wanted it to sit in comparison to the couch, and then subtract 3 more inches because that's how thick our foam for the top was going to be. So in all, we took 4 1/2 inches off each leg. And "we" means Rob, because I'm not brave enough yet to use a power saw. I'm happy to just be the assistant.

Here's a leg after getting cut. The cut side was on the bottom. 

They came out super smooth so I just gave the edges a really quick sand and then did a coat of Polycrylic over the cut side to protect the raw wood. 

Then I attached all the legs back onto the table. 

It's so much shorter!

Next it was time to build out the sides so that they'd be even with the overhang of the table top. I didn't just want to add foam to the top and upholster only the top part of the table, because I didn't want it to look like a coffee table that's been converted to an ottoman. I wanted it look look like it had always been an ottoman which means the sides had to be even with the top, and the drawers and all signs that this had once been a coffee table had to be hidden. 

So Rob measured the sides and then cut 2x4's to fit each one so that it was even with the overhang of the tabletop. 

He didn't bring the 2x4s up against the tabletop, but instead attached them lower so that the bottom edge of the 2x4 was level with the bottom edge of the table. That big gap in the middle doesn't matter since the whole thing is getting covered in foam and this way when the fabric goes on in has a nice flat side to wrap around and can get pulled straight under the table. 

Then it was time to map out the holes for the tufting. I knew I wanted a bunch of them arranged in rows so that it made squares. Rob plotted out how many he could evenly fit on the table top (sorry, I suck at math so I can't even begin to explain how he came to the final number and placement). I just knew I wanted squares, and that I wanted the short rows to be rows of 4. 

So Rob figured out the placement and then used chalk lines to easily see where he had to drill.

Next we used spray adhesive to attach all our pieces of foam. We'd ordered them precut, which made it really nice because we were able to just pull them out of the bag and stick them right onto the table. We got them from BuyFoam.com. This is the second project we've used their foam for and we were really happy with it.  

We did end up having the one screwy corner that you can see in these two pictures where the two sides didn't meet up all the way. But it didn't end up being a big deal because of the batting that we added next. 

We did two layers of batting to really soften all the edges and make it nice and plush. Oh and we found that the easiest way to wrap and attach both the batting and the fabric was by laying it out on the floor and then setting the table upside down on top of it. That way we had easy access to the bottom which is where we were doing all the stapling. So from here on out the table will be on it's back. 

The fabric I chose is from West Elm and you can find it here. There aren't enough ways to say how much I love it. 

So once the batting was attached we spread out the fabric on the floor with the table facedown on top of it (with a blanket under the fabric because I was paranoid about it getting dirty.) 

Then after checking 20 times to make sure everything was lined up right and there wasn't any fabric bunched up or creased under the table, we started pulling it tight and stapling it to the underside of the table. We kept the staples close together that way we could pull the fabric really tight without it making a bumpy edge along the bottom from uneven tension against the foam and batting. We found it easiest to do the sides first and then all the corners last. 

It wasn't always easy to keep the kids away while we worked. 

We made sure as we were stapling along the sides to be really generous with how much fabric we were leaving unstapled near the corners. That way we'd have plenty of give for all the folding and tucking we were going to have to do over there. 

I didn't get any pictures of the corner process because we were trying to get this done and I knew I already had good pictures from upholstering the dining room bench a couple weeks ago, and we used the same method on these corners that we had on that one. 

So don't get confused- these next few photos are from that project so you'll be seeing a different fabric. But the technique is totally the same:

We started with the middle, pulling the fabric tight over the corner and stapling it:

Then we pulled one side of fabric over as close to the corner as possible, tucking in the extra fabric as much as we needed to to make a tight crease and so the fabric along the side of the bench was totally smooth, then we stapled it underneath. 

Then we did the same thing to the other side, making a crease and pulling it as tightly and smoothly as we could over towards the corner and stapling it. 

So we did the corners of the ottoman the exact some way we did the corners of the bench. It was just bigger and with a lot more fabric, so there was more tucking and folding (and some trimming of excess fabric) to get the corners looking that way. 

Here's how it looked from underneath when the corner was all folded and stapled down:

Even though this is the underside we didn't want it to be a raggedy mess. We wanted to make sure that even if you're laying on the floor next to this thing and looking up it's legs that the view would be a pretty one. 

So after we were done stapling everything down, I went back around and tucked all the extra batting into the gap between the side of the table and the 2x4s so that it was hidden. 

Then I went around and stapled any loose looking edges of fabric just to make sure there was nothing that would show and look sloppy when this is turned right side up. 

And now here's the nice, neat view we'll get if we're ever hanging out under our table. 

And here it is {almost} finished. Still have to do the tufting but we have to wait to do that until after we get back from Vegas in a week or so. 

But in the meantime it's looking very pretty already.

btw our walls are not as crazy, acid yellow as they look in this picture! The paint color in here really doesn't photograph well, especially with my phone! 

Anyways feel free to email if there's any questions. 
I'm going to go put my feet up. 

Update: it's tufted! You can read about that process here and see more pictures of the final result here

Liz Marie Blog

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating