A Chair Makeover and Our Dining Room

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I was driving back home a couple of weeks ago when I found this beauty on my neighbor’s front yard:

She was standing alone  and sad so I snatched her. I have been looking for new chairs for my dining room for a while so I thought, why not?

These kind of chairs are not expensive. You can find them on Amazon for $85 a pair, free shipping with Prime.  In any case, I am always trying to find cheap/free stuff with beauty potential so I grabbed it and fixed it up.

Painting a wooden chair is relatively easy, but there are some important tips you can follow if you want it to look “fancy.”

The first tip is to keep kids under 6 away from this project. Kids are no good when it comes to paint and furniture. No matter what they promise, no matter what you say, they will ruin your work as soon as you turn your back on them (or is it only my kids?). Also, spray paint is pretty toxic, which gives you another great excuse to keep them far, far away from this task.

The second tip for painting a chair (and any DIY project) is to have PATIENCE! Don’t hurry up. Wait until you complete each task throughly. No shortcuts! Take your time, please.

Here is what you need to do for a wooden chair makeover:

How to Paint a Wooden Chair

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Time: 2 hours + 2 days to dry  Cost: $10

Materials:

  • Chair
  • Sand paper – Medium grit
  • Small wood block to wrap sand paper around (I used a 2″ x 4″). I also had a sand paper block but you don’t need it
  • 1 can of glossy spray paint in whatever color you want – I used Malachite color from the Montana gold brand. If you can’t find the color you want in glossy finish, buy a glossy clear spray paint to apply afterwards
  • Big rug or plastic – to put under the chair when painting
  • Dust mask – Optional. It will keep you from inhaling a lot of the toxic paint fumes

Instructions

1) Sand the chair. Sandpaper comes in different grits based on the number of sand granules per square inch of paper. A high grit means a finer sandpaper, while a low grit means a coarser sandpaper. Medium grits, such as #120 and #150, are useful for removing old finish or scratches without damaging the wood. I used a medium grit sandpaper for this project.

Wrap the sand paper around the wood block and use it for sanding flat surfaces. This helps to sand only the imperfections that are above the surface.  Use the sandpaper alone (or sandpaper block)  when sanding curved surfaces. Sanding your chair is important because all the details that you don’t easily see before sanding (like holes or bumps) will clearly show up after you paint your chair. Be patient! Pay attention to detail! Don’t rush through this or you will have to come back again to sand back the imperfections that show up after a fresh and smooth coat of paint had been applied.

Rub surfaces to feel for smoothness!

This is how my chair looked after I finished sanding it:

2) Wash the chair with soap and water. Wait until it is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
3) Start spraying. Make sure the spray can is around 8″ -10″ away from the surface you are trying to paint. Don’t start spraying directly into the chair, this could create drips if you apply too much paint (see below). Start spraying by aiming away from the chair and then go into applying smooth strokes to the chair. Again, take your time with this step. You don’t want to create drips with your paint like these ones: Because then you will have to sand down the imperfections all over again! Whatever imperfections show up, you will need to sand them down the day after you spray paint, otherwise the dust will settle on the damp paint.

When painting, you need to get to all the “difficult” places. Turn the chair upside down and make sure no space is left without paint.

4) If you spray painted your chair with a flat finish like I did, you will need to add a coat of glossy transparent spray paint to give it a glossy finish. A glossy finish is VERY important for kitchen furniture, especially. It is easier to wipe down when dirty with filthy children’s food.

Here is the after photo of that (previously) ugly chair:
Here are photos of  the chair in our dining room. By the way, I am taking this opportunity to introduce our little dining room to all of you! I have not shared photos of it before. You might already know that our house is small, so this little breakfast nook works as the dining room, project table, homework space, and many other things. I like how happy and vibrant it is.The Saltillo tile that George installed is pretty charming. It gives the kitchen a rustic look.
The seats work as drawers for storage, too. The shelf has vintage finds and a beautiful plant. Just how I like it.

Some old baby shoes just hanging in there because they look cute. No sentimental reason.

I just ordered 2 more wooden chairs from Amazon so I can paint them and add them to the dining room. The chair I just painted looks cute but lonely. It needs some company, so I will be making some friends for her this weekend.

Have a wonderful day!

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My Bold Hues – Volume 2

The #MYBOLDHUES IG feed keeps on getting better and better.  Lots of amazing accounts out there. This month I chose images with moody and darker colors, not sure why… maybe related to the constant rain we have had in LA for the last month?

Rain has been pouring down non-stop around here! We are very happy because it has helped fight the drought plus our grass has never been greener. I don’t think LA plants have ever been happier, but my soul feels wintery and dark, hence, the choice of pictures.

OK, let’s get to the wonderful images we had last month!

@patirobins

The image above by @patirobins is ALL over amazing: dark blue walls, colorful pillows, cute headboard, beautiful lamp,  chic planters, and a cactus for the side table! I need this room and this style right now, please.

@natasha.meininger

Because I am a sucker for plants and planters, I immediately saw that gorgeous brass planter hanging from the wall. After taking a secret vow that I will find a similar planter for my life in the future, I took a look at the rest of this photo and realized that this room has a lot more things going on for it than the planter! The blue velvety headboard, side brass/marble table, and those pillows for example?

@themakerista

Gwen from The Makerista blog has impeccable taste, there is nothing else to say about it. Every time she posts an image to the #myboldhues tag I am attracted to it. Also, can somebody get me that couch and that picture of flowers hanging on the wall right now, please? 

@harmonyfarmcandles

Pink bougainvillea, yellow farm door, brass sconce… @harmonyfarmcandles has my color love.

@design_it_vintage

Ok, I love the black walls and the greenery pillow in this image, but my real love here are those vintage candle holders. #collectionbrassgoals

@miafleur_home

 Blue, blue, blue and more blue. This wall color is perfect in so many ways, but the best aspect of it is how it makes all the elements on this mantle shine. Let’s look at them, but REALLY look at them. Zebra planter? YES. Wing bookend? DOUBLE YES. Rooster leg candle holder? TRIPLE YES. Cute framed butterflies? YES FOR INFINITY… And I will stop shouting now. You are welcome.

 

Thank you so much for stopping by and don’t forget to keep on tagging your photos. #MYBOLDHUES feed is a place where people can share spaces, projects, and moments that are full of color.

We will be featuring our favorite posts on the last Wednesday of each month so, please, tag along to participate!

Now, for inspiration, go and take a look at the images featured by my partners in color crime:

Ariel from PMQ for Two, Jess from Domicile37, Cate from Style Mutt Home, Karen from Copper Dot Interiors, Angela from Blue i Style, and Emy From Semi-Gloss Designs

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7 Steps To Eye-Catching Bookshelves

Most bloggers who give tips on how to style bookshelves don’t take into account that some of us actually read!

Tips for great looking bookshelves usually want you to leave tons of space for the eye to rest and art pieces to shine, but I have a lot of books and can’t possibly leave that much open space without having to throw away hundreds of books.

I think some of the shelves that you see out there are more IG ready than practical. Good news is that it is possible to have a nice looking bookshelf without compromising your library or having it look cluttered.

Here are 7 simple steps that will help you crete an eye-catching bookshelf:
1) Group some books by color – You might not want to color coordinate all your books, but you could benefit from grouping some books by color. In the bookshelf above, for example, orange, red and blue books have been placed together while the other books are mix-matched. This gives the eye some focal points without making your books look too staged.
2) Add plants – Plants add color and an organic look to wherever you place them. Of course, by now you know how much I love plants. They make any space look better, and this includes a bookshelf that runs the risk of looking predictable. Ideally, you would have a hanging plant that can work as a green waterfall eye catcher  [TREND ALERT: a new hashtag has been born: #waterfalleyecatcher]. Look at the photo above, for example, that simple and thin plant brings the bookshelf to life.

3) Get cute bookends – I have been collecting bookends for a long time. I get them at estate sales or thrift stores. There are so many beautiful options available for cheap! Any bookshelf needs bookends so why not get cute ones? Keep an eye for them on your next trip to a vintage filled store.

4) Leave open space for art – This is more of a personal preference but I like when bookshelves have an open space for art or larger vintage pieces. It helps to calm down the cluttered look that many books place together can create. This space doesn’t have to be in the middle of the bookshelf but anywhere you see it fit.


5) Stack books vertically and horizontally
– I like to have some books placed horizontally in between the vertical books for practical and non-practical reasons. The practical reason is that it helps keeping the vertical books in place, the non-practical reason is that they look good, obviously. It is an easy way of adding new lines to the bookshelf.

6) Add fun decorations – You need to decorate your bookshelf with cute ornaments. You can add small pieces of art in front of the books, or beautiful vintage finds, anything that looks good and fun.

7) Place shelves at different heights – I like to have the higher books at the bottom of the shelf, while the smaller books go on the top shelves, that is why my bottom shelves are generally higher than my top shelves. I also like the idea of having different random heights for the shelves, like in the bookshelf above from my friend Yassi, who is my bookshelf guru.
You don’t have to follow all 7 steps for perfect bookshelves, but some of these steps might give you ideas of what to do to improve the bookshelves you already have. It is not that hard to make them look good, actually. Sometimes it just needs rearranging, that is all.

Hope you like all or some of these tips! Have a wonderful day!

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The Advantages Of Living In A Small Home


Before I dive into the specifics of this post, I wanted to say hi to all newcomers. There are a lot of new readers coming to this blog every day so I wanted to say thank you for stopping by and deciding to stay.

This blog has a lot of Design and DIY projects, but it also has posts about life and thoughts on women’s issues. My about page explains why I write about all these things, but, in a nutshell, I am interested in two many topics to keep this blog contained to only one of them. The good news is that this corner of the cyber world was born to express creativity and crafty projects, so Design and DIY are part of the weekly scheduled posts. OK, now I am starting to go down to Boring lane, so let’s skip the formalities and talk about my wonderful and cozy 900 sq ft home.

I have two children (3 and 5 years old) and a sexy husband (not a lot of brains, though… and, yes, in case you are new here and wondering about my sense of humor, that was a joke).

We live in a small house in LA. Good news is that our yard is BIG! And when I shout BIG, I mean big for LA standards… our lot is 7,500 sq ft. Kids are outside a lot, which makes the house feel bigger, but we still live in a tiny, comfy, charming, 2 bedroom, 900 sq ft little house.

It has 2 bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen and a living room – no open plan. When we bought the house 5 years ago, it was in disarray. We have been building it up slowly to our family standards.

Lately,  many of our friends have been asking about our plans to expand the house. Our kids are getting bigger and we are outgrowing our space. Us, on the other hand, are not that worried. On the contrary, I really, really, really LOVE the size of our home because of the amazing intimacy it creates, something I never anticipated before having children.


There is a lot of family charm happening in a 900 sq ft house. I always know what my kids are up to, which helps me in keeping a safe environment (and nope, I am not an helicopter mom… am I?), but it also encourages constant social interaction. Just sharing the bathroom in the morning requires plenty of communication and compromise. (BTW, do any of your young children asks for privacy when going to the bathroom? “I nid pivacy, momma,” Max says, making me LOL because, seriously Max, you are only 3 years old and still need me to wipe your butt.)

There are other obvious practical advantages to a small home like faster cleaning, less energy usage, or less furniture expenses, but none of them matter to me as much as the unexpected closeness that this small space has brought to our little family. At night, I hear my kids having bad dreams and I can rescue them; in the daytime, I know if they are painting our new sofa or drowning my iPhone in the toilet (yes, that has happened- silence is the best predictor of these behaviors.) Also, because the space is  limited, we live a decluttered life. Limited amount of clothes and toys, for example.  And our piano has taken a predominant role in our lives. Kids are always playing music because the piano is very present, readily available, and constantly in our path. You are always “encountering” the piano… am I making any sense in here?

I guess what I want to say is that when you live in a small space, all pieces of furniture and décor have an important role in your daily life. They can’t be ignored.

As you can see, expanding our home is not a top priority, although it would be nice to do it in a couple of years, when kids are a little bit older and demand their geographical independence, but, for now, we are staying as is. What do you think? Do you have a big or small house? and, if you do live in a small house, what do you like or don’t like about it?

Here is the Winter tour of our home, in case you care to see, and thanks for stopping by!

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My Bold Hues First Edition

One of the highlights of this January 2017 has been to look at the great images showing up in the #myboldhues IG feed.

When we started this hashtag a couple of weeks ago, I never thought I would get so much inspiration from this humble feed.

Looking back, I was worried to see if anybody would even care to post something! Well, fear not, because a lot of people used the tag. Choosing my favorites was a hard decision but here are my top 5:

@claire_brody

Claire Brody’s style always has my heart. I have a thing for vintage portraits. (you don’t believe me? Well, here and here is the proof.) The way she hang them in here is a great idea for a display. Also, the lamp, flower vase, and cabinet go so perfect together. I love everything that is happening here.

@coppercorners

Mary from @coppercorners hand painted this wall. With that talent there is no need for wallpaper anymore. The combination of pink and black, plus all those paintings on the shelf, look perfect.

@suburbanbees

I have been looking for a green velvet couch for a while so you can understand how as soon as I saw this photo by suburban bees, I filed it into my favorites. That green sofa makes this room perfect.

@swoonworthyblog

What an eclectic mix you can find in this photo! That wonderful wallpaper, the print, and that incredible table setting. I love it all. Kimberly is a master at combining different styles and making them look cohesive. Love this room.

@thenewsaintly

The blue in here makes this place peaceful and strong. The addition of yellows and greens are a wonderful touch. Love what @thenewsaintly did in her living room. Look at all the decoration details!

Ok, that was the first round-up of this wonderful hashtag. Thank you so much for stopping by and don’t forget to keep on tagging your photos. #MYBOLDHUES feed is a place where people can share spaces, projects, and moments that are full of color.

We will be featuring our favorite posts on the last Wednesday of each month so, please, tag along to participate!

Now, for inspiration, go and take a look at the images featured by my partners in color crime:

Ariel from PMQ for Two, Jess from Domicile37, Cate from Style Mutt Home, Karen from Copper Dot Interiors, Angela from Blue i Style, and Emy From Semi-Gloss Designs

 

Let Us Connect: