Author Archive

Reader Redesign: Best Seat In The House

When Angie sent over her simple and inspiring chair makeover we loved the outcome so much we had to share it. Here’s her letter:

I love your style and your blog. I just got into blogs a few months ago and yours is a must read every day! I’m so excited to share my before and after chair makeover. I purchased it at the Ann Arbor ReUse Center for $5.00. After I removed the seat cushion and a ridiculous number of staples, I patched, sanded and primed the chair. I bought some new foam for the seat on sale at Joann’s and painted the chair with some white trim paint I had on hand from other paint jobs in our house. To cover the seat I bought a half yard of this funky fabric from the monaluna mingle collection on Etsy. Thanks for the daily inspiration! -Angie

Here’s the bleak before:

And here’s the brilliant after:

Didn’t Angie do an amazing job? Feel free to drop in on her blog for more details. We love how simple this project really is and how anyone can do it on a serious budget with a fantastic result. Happy chair covering to one and all!

Looking for a little step-by-step chair recovering tutorial? Look no further.

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Tackling The Basement: Chapter Four

Well, thanks to the generous and wonderful folks at True Value, we now have a totally dry and completely functional basement to use for storage galore (read about how we prepped and waterproofed the former bug graveyard here and here). And thanks to a little road trip to Ikea this weekend, we came home armed with pretty much every item that we planned to snag in this basic mood board of sorts that we shared last week:

  1. Expedit shelf (included in the total Expedit Workstation) -$120
  2. Torsby table (already owned, so it’s free!)
  3. A woven basket or two – $17 each
  4. Two Aneboda wardrobes – $100 a pop
  5. A few white storage boxes – $12 for two
  6. And a few green storage boxes to keep things interesting – $12 for two
  7. Expedit desk (included in the Expedit Workstation) accounted for above

And the room is really coming together. Especially thanks to the floor plan we brainstormed ahead of time to see which items would work where (and which ones would provide the most function without breaking the bank):

Of course we still have a lot more projects to take on (creating a new light fixture, rewrapping the water heater, building a screen to hide the ugly rewrapped water heater, dealing with the windows, DIYing a dehumidifier, etc). But here’s what the basement looks like now thanks to the addition of two Ikea Aneboda Wardrobes along with an Expedit Workstation and a few inexpensive accessories (like some faux plants for a bit of greenery and these storage boxes for even more concealed stashing space). Not to mention the Torsby table and a few extra wooden chairs that we already owned. We also brought down our bikes as planned, but have even more in store when it comes to sprucing up that back wall so stay tuned…

Oh and we still have to paint the built-in cabinet below, so don’t mind the dingy look of it now…

Not bad, eh? Just to refresh your memory, the room looked like this about a month ago:

But thanks to around $350 worth of Ikea furniture (the Expedit Workstation even happened to be on sale!) and around $400 worth of prepping supplies (thanks again True Value!) we were able to take the basement from scary cinder block dungeon to a waterproofed room that’s furniture ready.

Oh and we would show you the insides of those wardrobes but we still have a lot of organizing to do (am I a total nerd for feeling a little bit giddy when I say that?). So next on the agenda is going back to True Value to snag lots of awesome sealed plastic storage bins to stack tons of seasonal decor, sporting equipment and other stuff that we’d rather hide behind closed doors. Then it’s on to lighting, art and hiding that wart of a water heater. Fun, fun, fun.

And speaking of house warts, do you guys have any ugly eyesores (fuse boxes? propane tanks? carpet stains? damaged hardwoods? odd trap doors? ugly outlets?) that you’ve successfully camouflaged? Tell us all about it.

Psst- Here’s how we hid our fuse box in the den, our exterior propane tank, and some pretty gross plugs and outlets above our washer and dryer. Fingers crossed we can make that water heater disappear too…

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