Wednesday, July 25, 2012

a swedish gucci.

I know, right? In what free world is Gucci Swedish? Perhaps a more fitting title to my post would have been "A Gucci Inspired Ikea Solsta Olarp Chair Hack DIY Tutorial", but how un-fun is that?! Lawd. That's a title only NPR would find exciting. 

As the Mr. and I began to put the finishing touches on the den (flowers in vases, throws folded, etc.), we still felt like it was a bit empty. After spreading out all of our apartment furniture throughout la nueva casita, we really only had a couch and chair available for seating in the den. We could sit about four people comfortably, but our entertaining dreams were a bit loftier than four invitees.

Being rather tired of spending money, I really started honing in on this Solsta Olarp chair at Ikea:
At 65 bucks a pop, you really can't find a better price for seating, but the appearance of such a chair was *SO SAD*.

Obvi, the chairs were going to need a little oomph if I was going to be proud to have a pair of them in our den, but I wasn't sure what to do. I initially thought about painting bold stripes on the chairs, but wasn't quite sure how I would handle the rounded back and cushion. Dropping the idea of painting stripes all over the chair, I still kept the idea of stripes in my mind.

Whilst on a mountain-laden vacation with the fam, my cousin and I were looking at handbags and we kept talking about the classically fabulous single, bold, vertical stripe that Gucci so beautifully wears.

It is such a classic, simple concept that we thought could really pop with some fun colors on the canvas backing of the Ikea chairs, no? I liked the green but really wanted to make it a bit more "kelly" than "forest", and I absolutely love the perfection of kelly green paired with navy blue.

I collected my supplies...
2 Solsta Olarp Chairs

one-inch FrogTape

Behr's "Navy Blue" flat wall paint

Behr's "Green Grass" flat wall paint

I unpacked the chairs from all of their wrappings...

...and used a tape measure to find the absolute center of each chair's back.

I decided that I wanted my center stripe to be three inches thick, so I used a level to insure that the lines I traced were absolutely vertical from the measured points on both the chair's back and the seat cushion.

After lightly tracing my center stripe in pencil, I taped off the chair and cushion with the FrogTape.

I began by applying a thin, dry coat of the Navy Blue paint...

...and once it was dry, I added a second, thicker coat!

While the paint was still damp, I removed the tape to see the results!

I repeated the same process on the second chair and allowed the center stripe to drive overnight. The following day, I applied painter's tape along the outer edge of the center stripe so that no green paint would mar the blue stripe. I decided to use blue painter's tape here since it is a bit less sticky than the FrogTape and would not pull up the blue paint I had already applied.

As the tape is one inch wide, I used small strips of tape to help measure and mark off the width of the green, outer stripes.

I then lined up the painter's tape with the edge of the markers so that the outer stripes were taped-off completely.

After removing the marker-place-holders, I applied a thin, dry coat of green paint followed by a thicker coat!

Just like with the blue center stripe, I removed the tape while the paint was still damp to prevent peeling, and be still my heart, a Swedish Gucci met my eyes!

The pair of chairs come together perfectly with a little octagonal campaign table to create the added seating we needed at a sinfully cheap price with a splash of Gucci!

May Gucci and Ikea live on in wedded bliss forever and always.

Friday, July 20, 2012

making stripey striped curtains.

Oh hey, y'all! My deepest of apologies for waiting all week to post, but let me just paint a little picture for you: I woke up Monday morning supremely energized and antsy to go up to school. I did a little skip-to-my-lou up the paved pathway and into the building, ecstatic about getting back to decorating, organizing, and creating. Y'all know the feeling, right? Oh, but wait, what's that waiting for me in my room? What could that be? Oh, seven pallets full of kids' supplies each topping 5 feet in height? That's right. Every little munchkins' little pencils, crayons, and scissors were waiting for me to unpack them, divide them up amongst each of their teachers, and deliver them to their respective room. Jealous? Ya, I thought you might be. I am hoping you can surmise where I've been all week then...

But I digress. Let's get on to some more pretty little things. You might remember that I dreamed and drooled over some striped curtains back in May and I could hardly wait to make my own for our own formal living and dining room, yes? Under previous ownership, our formal areas looked something like this:

The fabuloso windows were just BEGGING to be adorned in bold-striped-goodness, right? I grabbed up these curtains at Target because they were a thicker fabric with minimal texture which would make them more likely to hold the paint without too much seepage.

I then sprinted over to le Home Depot and grabbed flat wall paint a couple of shades darker than the paint on our walls, called Antique Tin:

Having all supplies in tow, I headed home to get painting! My first job was to iron out all of the creases in the curtains.

I then laid out the curtain so that I could begin measuring each stripe:

As I wanted a very bold stripe, I made small "tick" marks across the curtain every twelve inches:

I then connected my "tick" marks with a ruler to create level lines across the width of each curtain.

My next step was to tape off both the stripes and the grommets.

Remember, that you want to place your tape so that your stripes will each be twelve inches. That means that you will alternate placing the tape above and below your penciled line. Your taped off stripes will look uneven, but that will ensure you have even, twelve inch stripes after you paint!

I then placed a PLASTIC tarp underneath the curtain in preparation to paint. You will want to use a plastic tarp as the paint will seep through both the curtain and a fabric drop cloth onto your beautiful floors - no bueno. Using a small, foam roller, I began by applying a light coat of paint to the striped areas.

After the light first coat was applied, I painted a second, thicker coat:

And while the paint was still wet, you better believe I ripped off that tape to see the beauty beneath!

And after repeating that process for each stripe on the curtain, can we talk about fabulous results?!

Be still my heart. Having one curtain down, I had three left to tackle. Talk about lather, rinse, repeat.

Once the curtains were fairly dry, I finally got to hang them up to see the finished product! To say they "added something" to the dining room is quite the understatement, if I do say so myself...

...and they are JUST what the formal living room needed to start feeling like an actual room!

Maybe I stand here for minutes at a time each day just staring....maybe....

For such fabuloso results, this was such an easy process! You MUST try it! Go on...get going to Target...go now....for serious.

Friday, July 13, 2012

breaking in the silhouette.

You may have noticed in my last post that Mr. Spouse snagged a Silhouette for me as a "happy end of the school year" treat! Oh my. Talk about HOTY (husband of the year, in layman's terms). Saying that I was eager to cut away would be quite the understatement - I just couldn't decide what needed to be assaulted with perfectly trimmed paper!

After wandering around la casita for entirely too long, I ultimately decided on the fridge door's bins:

I mean, they were practically begging to be labeled, no? I headed over to Michael's to grab some vinyl to start creating the labels, but only found baby pink vinyl. I figured baby pink labels might not be the best way to say "thanks" to Mr. Spouse for my new toy, so I scampered over to the scrapbook papers where my refusal to buy pink vinyl was divinely confirmed with my discovery of this:

A Missoni chevron print on paper?! I die. Better yet, the pack of 25 sheets of yummy chevron was only $2.99. "Reckless, high-speed" driving may or may not describe the way I made my way home to get started.

After oohing and aahing over all of the prints in the pack, I narrowed my options down to these two prints:

Not being able to choose one, I decided I would cut my labels from both of the prints and then decide which one looked better.

I laid out all of the labels to choose the winner:

But, honestly, I wasn't feeling the Missoni madness. I felt like the chevron stripes really just looked like randomly assorted lines on the letters and you really didn't get to see all of the fabulous colors and print. That's when I started eyeing the pages from which the letters had been cut.

I decided it might be just as cool to have a "reverse outline" of the letters so that you could see the entire spectrum of colors and get a sense of the chevron print. So I separated each label and got ready to mod podge!

I started the application process by emptying out all of the door bins...

...and placing all of the contents into the body of the refrigerator so they wouldn't ruin.

After removing and washing out the bins to insure I was working with a clean surface, I marked the center of each bin with a bit of painter's tape so that I could apply the label in the middle of the bin a bit more easily.

I then applied a very thin layer of mod podge to the back of the label...

...and then lined up the center of the label with my painter's tape marker on the bin.

I then brushed on a thicker layer of mod podge to the top of the label.

While the mod podge was still wet, I applied the centers of all applicable letters using the Silhouette placement tool:

I repeated this process on each of the bins until all of them were finished!

After allowing the bins to dry until the mod podge was clear, I used the same process to apply a single rectangle of teal paper on the other side of the bin fronts in order to make the letters pop out a bit more than they would have with just the clear surface of the bin.

Once everything was dry and lovely, I started loading the bins with their contents!

I really like the look of the reverse outline so much better than the isolated letters I had been considering!

What a fun, happy pop of color in an unexpected spot, no?