Archive for April, 2011


Remember me? I’m Kerith!  And I’ve been an absentee member of Midwest Needles for a few months!  But please…let me explain!!!

My husband and I bought a house a year ago in Milwaukee, and, well…you know how it goes, just a few months later, I was offered a position in Chicago I just couldn’t refuse!!!!

We planned on renovating the house as we could, doing it ourselves and planning every little step to make the perfect place, but that changed once we realized we would be moving…!

So, we went into hyper-speed and made a few compromises…

Here’s what we started out with…



Yes, we have several things to discuss here…

1.  Yes, that is carpet on the floor.  It was a nice office/outdoor type of carpet.  Very clean (I hope you sense the sarcasm);

2.  Yes, that is an avocado green electric stove.  One might say, “AWESOME!  RETRO!  VINTAGE!”  I say, “Could I please have an oven door that does not take two hands to open and close?”

3.  Yes, that is a peach sink;

4.  Yes, those curtains have mushrooms on them (not in a cute way); and

5.  Yes, the lamp/fan is a classy combination of wicker, gold, and yellow and orange flowers.

Then, it turned into this:

After we moved in, I spazzed out, to put it lightly, and took all the doors off all the cabinets because the kitchen was so dark, it was making me claustrophobic.  We lived with the kitchen like this for almost a year.  We got a new fridge (the old one was from the 80s) and my husband’s parents gave us their “old” stove, which was about 30 years newer than what we were previously working with, so we were more than happy to accept.

We tested a little area to see what was under the carpet, and sadly, the carpet was glued down to a linoleum floor, under which was just floorboards…  😦

  We covered up the square we cut out of the floor with this rug because we didn’t know what else to do!  We’re super classy.  And as you may remember…JT loves a good photo opportunity!!!

Oh, oops!  How’d she sneak in there!!!??!!  That’s our little Ginger Snap!  We finally caught her with the camera  (p.s. you also get a nice close up of our kitchen carpet)!

What we did:

1.  New floors;

2.  New hardware on the cabinets;

3.  New appliances;

4.  New counters;

5.  New sink;

6.  Crown molding; and

6.  New paint EVERYWHERE (trim, tile, wall…)

And here it is!  It’s about 98% done, just a few minor things to fix up!  Pre-heatin’ the oven for some cookies!!!



And the cookies will go right there on the cake stand!

And that’s why I’ve been absent!  I hope you’ll forgive me…




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If you are anything like me you normally have about 5 projects going on at the same time.  Yesterday since I finally had time to myself I managed to knock three of them off my list and I thought I’d share my favorite one with you, dear blog readers.  I know the web is filled with furniture make-overs but I never get tired of them!  In fact, Thursdays are my favorite day on Design*Sponge for just that reason.  My husband’s grandmother gifted us this old chair and I thought it might be my perfect starter re-upholstering project.  I’ve covered my simple kitchen chairs before but I wanted to do something serious.

As you can see…when I like something I pretty much become obsessed with it and right now it’s chevrons!  I found the fabric at Premier Prints awhile ago and actually a photo of the same fabric is the backdrop on our blog!  I sort of want to cover everything in my house in a different colored chevron fabric.  Maybe that’d be too much?

I was pretty bad at taking photos during the process so it isn’t really that much of a tutorial…but I’ll tell you a little about the process.  First, this is how it looked before.

Typical doctor’s office waiting room chair.  The fabric was a super sturdy, brown, scratchy material. Ugh.  It definitely begged for a refresh.  First step was removing the ugly, old fabric.

This took quite awhile.  Upholstery staples can be tricky to remove but I found prying them up with a flathead screwdriver first, and then pulling them out with a pliers worked best.

I separated all the fabric pieces and used them as a pattern.  I was kind of surprised at how crappy the original pieces were cut…no straight lines there!  In any case since I was dealing with something dimensional that would require stretching I found this more helpful than relying on measurements.

Some of the pieces were sewn together before being put on the chair (again…no pictures…sorry!)  and one of those little details is the piping that lines the seat cushion.

The piping looks like the following picture and you can find it for sale by the yard in the home decor section of Joann’s.

This was THE trickiest part of the whole project and I know it’s kinda lumpy in places but I’m still pretty proud of how it turned out.  First you have to sew the piping in a skinny piece of fabric and THEN sew that to the fabric on the base. Tricky but makes for a nice finish.

To remove and reattach the top part I needed to use a hex key for the special bolts.  Taking it apart was easy but it was a little trickier to match the holes back up!

All in all I learned SO much by doing this and apparently this chair has a partner that’s on its way to our home.  I can’t wait to recover that one as well!

A couple other things to mention:

1.  I hope you don’t think it’s gross but I kept the same cushions that were underneath the fabric.  I just didn’t feel ready to attempt or that it was necessary to change those out.

2.  I hadn’t intended to have the chevrons’ directions be opposite from each other on the top portion versus the seat – but I like it!  I was only trying to make the most economical use of the fabric I had.

3.  Even though I love this fabric I don’t think I’ll use it for the second chair.  It was waaayyy too stretchy and I think is the reason for some of the lumpiness in parts.  This kind of project needs something sturdier.

I think when I do the second chair I’ll write up a nicer tutorial for you…in case you want ideas on how to tackle one yourself!!

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