...because home doesn't happen overnight.
10.05.12 / I’ll Take It

So you know how I’ve been searching for a stool for my desk in the kitchen? Well, it found me this week.

It’s eerily similar to these but with metal legs instead. Total coincidence. It was dirty, rusting and not in the best condition but I sat on it and it felt comfy and sturdy. I wasn’t sure if it was ‘the one’ but for $10 how could I not buy it? So I told the seller, “I’ll take it.”

I did have to put a little money and elbow grease into it.

The rubber feet protectors were dry rotted.

I removed them with a utility knife and pliers.

I found these 3/4″ rubber protectors {oy, that came out wrong!} at Home Depot for $2. I wasn’t feeling the elderly cane rubber tip look but, hey, at least they weren’t tennis balls. I had a plan to make them blend in a little better.

You see, the metal was showing signs of rust so I knew I was going to spray paint it right off the bat. I figured I could paint the rubber tips to match.

Upon careful inspection {i.e. sitting on the stool and noticing a slight lean to my left}, I discovered a screw that had rusted through and broken. I replaced it with a new one.

Then I wiped the stool down and rounded up some plastic bags, painters tape and gloss black spray paint to remedy the rusting metal frame.

I wrangled the stool into submission with the suffocating bags and tape. I covered the wood seat and back. I also taped off the bottom of the feet.

Then I sprayed the entire frame gloss black. I thought about taping off the chrome square support and spraying it chrome but decided that would be too tedious. Mabrey was napping so I was working on borrowed time.

I let the stool air out in the garage for a few days and finally brought it into the kitchen this morning. Oooh. Shiny. The rubber tips are already scuffed up. Turns out, spray paint doesn’t stick to rubber so well. But I’m still happy with the results. Especially since I only have $16 total {$10 stool + $2 rubber tips + $4 spray paint = $16} invested in the stool.

Here’s a better picture of the worn seat. I love the patina. And it won’t bother me one bit when the kids accidentally scratch it or draw on it.

The wood tone plays well with the island’s walnut countertop.

The size and shape of the stool fit me to a T.

Did I mention it swivels? This is a great little feature that will allow me to keep an eye on my kids in the kitchen or family room while I’m working. You know, when the eyes in the back of my head get tired.

I don’t know if the stool will better my blogging but it makes me smile when I sit in it.

Wanna know what else makes me smile? Being in the running for Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color! I submitted Mabrey’s room in the dark category a week or so ago on a whim. I wasn’t looking to win. I had no idea there was even a prize involved. But now that I’m in the running and I discovered there is a fabulous prize involved {$200 to Sherwin-Williams + $1000 to Thrive Home Furnishings!!}, I WANT TO WIN. If you like Mabrey’s nursery or if you want to see what I would do with that prize stash {let’s see, that would be equivalent to 75 of these stool makeovers – HA!}, please vote for Mabrey’s room right here. Thank you for your vote in advance!

Tackling the fabric circles mobile and the stool makeover this week has my momentum going again. Funny how all it took was making time for two easy projects to get me back on track.

Happy weekend! I hope you find the time to do something that makes you smile.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Why, hello there lil’ 99¢ Goodwill mini tree.

I’d like you to meet my bff, white spray paint.

Now, hold still.  This will only take a second.

Ah, much better.

‘Tis the fate of so many Goodwill purchases here at my house.  Happy weekend!

A regular H*T reader contacted me after seeing the mood board I put together for Scott and Robyn’s basement.  Michelle was wanting help with an inexpensive bedroom makeover.  And being that I like to pretend I’m an interior designer, I happily accepted Michelle’s request.  Currently, her bedroom looks like this…

It’s not a bad room to begin with at all.  Did you notice the floors?  And that upholstered headboard was a DIY project that Michelle and her husband completed together.  Michelle was wanting ideas for paint color, bedding, window treatments {well, door treatments I guess} and accessories.  After seeing my fandelier, she also wanted to incorporate the World Market pendant light into her room. Michelle asked that all the furniture stay {a bookcase also resides in her bedroom but is not shown above} but said that the sewing table and/or bookcase could be painted.  She was also looking to make the sewing table into more of a desk instead of a stand-alone piece.  After reviewing several pics of inspiration rooms that Michelle sent my way, I gathered that she was leaning towards a light, mostly neutral palette with a soothing feel.  In her original email to me, I also learned that Michelle likes a mix of crisp white and contrasting mocha with hints of green.  Taking all of that into consideration, this is what I came up with for Michelle’s budget-friendly room makeover…

Michelle's Breathe Easy Bedroom

I’m suggesting that Michelle paint her walls Dolphin Fin {by Behr, Home Depot}.  It’s a slightly tan-y gray.

Here’s a living room painted in Dolphin Fin so you get the idea…

{image courtesy of Alaina Kaczmarski}

For a fresh fix, clean white bedding {you can find it just about anywhere!} will instantly lighten all the dark furniture.  I found a few geometric print pillows along with a leafy green lumbar pillow to add interest.  The good news is they’re on sale for less than $13 each!  A white round mirror above the headboard will add in some curves.  {Frugal hint:  find any round mirror at Goodwill and spray paint it white.}  Spray painting the bedside lamps’ bases white will help to lighten things up, too.  The World Market chandelier is going to be the WOW! in this bedroom.  A furry sheepskin rug alongside the bed will add texture.  To keep all the furniture from looking the same, I suggested that Michelle paint her sewing desk green {similar to the one shown here} and her bookcase white.  Sliding up a white chair and hanging a DIY linen pinboard {like this} will further help the sewing table to act as a desk.  Those vertical blinds on the patio sliders have got to go!  I can’t wait to see how large and bright those sliding doors look when topped with a dark {either black or rubbed bronze} curtain rod and long, flowing white curtains.  Opening up that wall by hanging the window treatments high and wide around the patio doors will really have a huuuuuge impact.  {That’s one before-and-after I can’t wait to see!}  Finally, accessorizing with woven baskets, white ceramics and greenery {I had to throw in an orchid} will really bring some ease and life to the bedroom.  I dig these Jonathan Alder birds but really any cutesy piece found at Goodwill could be spray painted white for the same effect.

So, that’s how I would tweak Michelle’s bedroom without breaking the bank.  I was happy to hear that Michelle is excited about her mood board and actually has many of the items I suggested {rug, baskets, plants, white pots, etc} in her home already.  We must be on the same wavelength.  I know she isn’t in a hurry to tackle her bedroom makeover head-on, but when she does do it I sure hope she shares some pictures!  Pretty please, Michelle?

It’s Feature Friday! On Fridays, I’ll be featuring one room in my house in its current condition even if there are some things I’d like to change about it. If I do happen to improve something later, I can always revisit it when the time comes. Plus, I’d kinda feel dishonest if I only focused on “finished” rooms in my house. And if what they (the professionals) say is true, a room is never really finished anyways…you’re always tweaking it. Concentrating on just one room weekly should give me some time to tidy it up a bit, too.

I shared the process of decorating my boys’ shared room a few months back but here is the ‘official’ tour with bigger and better pics.

I painted the navy circles and hung store-bought letters in the center {after I spray painted them green} to personalize the space.

The bedding is from IKEA {duvet & pillow case} and Home Goods {geometric print lumbar pillow}.

The adjacent wall is a collection of license plates we’ve had over the years…including hand-me-downs from family members.  They’re in theme with the ‘car room’ the boys wanted without being too theme-y.

Across from the beds is a Craigslist metal credenza that I spray painted yellow.

The credenza serves as a cool garage for the boys’ CAT machines…an ode to Handy Hubby.

I Mod Podged car, truck and tractor pages torn from books onto stretched canvases to keep artwork cheap.

We hang the kids’ art here, too.

A cozy and kid-friendly vinyl chair is the perfect spot for bedtime stories.  The road signs hail from Handy Hubby’s college dorm decor.

I couldn’t find the exact curtains I wanted at a reasonable price, so instead I sewed 2 panels out of canvas dropcloth and painted stripes onto them.

And to keep my boys safe at night, there is a knight standing guard by the door.  It was their Pap-Pap’s and I spray painted him {the knight not Pap-Pap} acid green.  Layne has lovingly named him ‘Fred’.

So, there you have it…that’s where I tuck my kids in at night.  We’re still in the trial-and-error stages of letting our younger son {2 years old} sleep in his big boy bed in the shared room.  For now, we just kinda play it by ear every night.  If he’s super slap happy {and bothering his sleepy brother}, we happily return him to his crib in the nursery.

Sweet dreams and happy weekend!