My January Cure – Bathroom Project

My buddy Lauren over at Stay Home With Me & I decided to attempt Apartment Therapy’s January Cure this winter – as a part of our mutual decision to kick of 2014 with a positive & organized bang. I’ve really been enjoying receiving my regular email from Apartment Therapy each morning – containing the daily assignment for the cure. I’ve been attempting to keep up – although it has not been particularly easy with my busy weekends & 50+ hour work weeks. I feel wonderful every time I complete a task, and I’ve gotten a whole lot of great new ideas for keeping my home organized & clutter free. (Unfortunately, I’ve yet to implement all of these great ideas, which makes that ‘clutter free’ sentiment feel like a distant dream…) Nonetheless, I am pleased with the progress made thus far, and hope to completely catch up before the end of the month (for example, Assignment #13 is top priority…)

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At the beginning of the month, I made a nice long list of all the problem areas in our home that I would like to tackle at some point. This list includes big projects – like the wallpaper I’d like to remove in our entryway, the baseboard I’d like to replace throughout the apartment, and the massive job of organizing our attic. I’ve also got dozens of smaller jobs on my list – like sorting out my craft supplies (ok, that one is maybe not such a small job), painting a room or two, and finishing the little gallery wall I started when the Christmas decorations came down.

But the project I chose to complete as per the cure was an update in our bathroom. The bathroom refresh included the following jobs:

– Remove the old, cracked caulk around the tub & re-caulk

CaulkBefore

– Paint the window trim, door & door trim white (the trim was an off-white/almondy ish color, and in need of some spackle/hole repair as well).

WindowBefore

– Paint the ceiling white

BathroomBefore1

– Refresh the decor.

Our hands are pretty tied with the color of the tile right now – as we are not able to do a huge tile job in the near future. I’m not in love with the color (or having a fully tiled bathroom in general) – but I have to live with it. I hope that adding some crisp white trim & some fun new accessories will help. We’ve decided phase one will be paint & new accessories, and in phase two (later this Spring, perhaps) we will try to replace the sink, vanity, TP holder, towel rack, etc. – which is not going to be a walk in the park, as there will be holes in tile, etc. Uhg.

Anyway, after a nice long weekend & an extra snow day to boot, I’ve made significant progress. The tub is caulked & the trim is painted, and we’re hiring help to deal with the ceiling (there is some water damage/work that needs to be done to avoid mildew down the road).

 

I also picked up some fun new towels & accessories from Target (with perfect timing from a Cartwheel coupon on Threshold bath accessories!).

And, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the saga of the ceramic deer head. Sniff. I debated whether I wanted to use this $7 find (from TJ Maxx back in December) as a towel holder. I decided to go for it – and I loved it with all my heart. I named him Roger. 24 hours later, Roger was in about 100 pieces on the floor… as was my heart.

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What home projects have you been up to lately? Anyone else doing the January Cure? Have you lost any ceramic animal buddies lately?

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Easiest Upholstery DIY Ever

I never imagined that a DIY chair upholstery job would be on my list of domestic accomplishments – I mean the word itself is hard to say. Yet it just so happens I had some old furniture in desperate need of a makeover. The good news is that this was quite possibly the easiest furniture upholstering process you could ever wish for – I did not sew a stitch, and was able to complete the entire job in just an afternoon.

Chair2The centerpiece of this project is this chair – a solid wood, crate-style hunk of furniture that has been in my hubby’s apartment/family for years. It is a piece of a set- including the ottoman seen here, a small loveseat/sofa, and a wooden end table. It’s one of those furniture sets that was clearly built to withstand years of unruly children & messy pets – and, judging by its history with hubby’s family – it has done just that.

ChairMakeoverBefore1We don’t want to get rid of the furniture, because we know that “one day” when we move from our 2nd floor apartment into our own home, it will fill up a future den/basement/man-cave type room & live on for many more years to come. Seriously, this stuff will survive the zombie apocalypse AND the next ice age. Alien explorers will find it centuries from now & use it to furnish their first floating settlement built over the ruins of New York City.

Is it odd that I’ve imagined this?

Anyway… we use the chair & ottoman combination in our bedroom – in the half of the room designated for my own personal use & filled up with clothing, books, & craft supplies. I figured it would be a pretty easy job to re-cover the seat, back & ottoman cushions with some pretty new fabric to give this block-y, manly furniture some feminine appeal. (Any furniture that I’ve previously labeled as “den” worthy clearly does not belong in my dressing/reading/crafting corner!)

AfterFixI purchased several yards of this fabric from fabric.com, and I spent the bulk of the time spent on this project carefully measuring & placing the patterns of the fabric. Once I had my pieces measured and cut, this was as easy as wrapping a gift & securing it with safety pins! (Basically, I wrapped the fabric around each cushion, and secured it to the foam/original fabric with a bunch of safety pins. It looks lovely on the top, but if you turn those cushions over…. well, just don’t turn them over.)

Chair4The arm pieces were a breeze- I simply stapled the new fabric over the old with my trusty staple gun! (I chose to leave all of the old fabric in place, mostly for the convenience of it, but also so that we can always revert back if the chair finds a new home in our hypothetical “den” someday… or if it ends up being Craigs-listed).

StapleJobI am really into the pretty fabric, and super excited about the final product. I am DEFINITELY going to either stain or paint the wood this spring or summer (once it’s warm enough to work outside again), but I’m not sure which yet. Any thoughts? Should I do a natural stain, or should I paint the wood white & distress/shabby-chic it up a bit?

Chair1The ultimate seal of approval comes from our dog Emma, of course. She did not waste any time in hopping on up to the newly covered chair.

EmmaChair3I like to imagine what Emma is thinking during particularly cute poses like these. I also like to take those imagined ideas & turn them into silly photo edit projects.

EmmaChair8Or, an alternate thought might be:

EmmaChair9Let’s be honest, we all know this dog’s thoughts are primarily food-related.

EmmaChairBubbleSo there you have it. An incredibly easy reupholstering job, some strange insight into my picture of the future on planet earth, and a series of thought bubbles I edited onto pictures of my adorable dog.

EmmaChair5

All in a day’s work, I’d say.

(P.S. Seriously – what do you think? A sand & re-stain job, or a coat of paint for the chair/ottoman combo?)