DIY: Small Outdoor Patio Lounge

small outdoor patio furniture

The drab to fab makeover for the bamboo chairs was the start of this DIY patio nook makeover! Style wise a bit of retro and mid-century look especially with the pops of color. Our outdoor space is partially covered which is great when its blazing hot. We luv to read and lunch outside or just hang out over a beer or glass of wine.  The space was in severe need of some color and coziness and I only wish I had the before photo but no luck. So this DIY patio makeover was a simple design of re-using existing pieces from other locations and adding a few new pieces for color. What do you think, relaxing?

So what was re-used and what was purchased?

First, the mosaic pedestal was originally holding just a pot in another garden spot, but was relocated here as small table top – glass table top was ordered from local glass company for $40.

Small pillows were added to the bamboo chairs in fun prints! The pillow colors were used as the palette for the space. The red pillow was DIY and the material and stuffing were left over from another project. The blue pillow was on sale from Target for $10.

The patio rug by Fab Habitat is an indoor/outdoor polypropylene ordered from Amazon for $40.  They have some great colors and designs I really wanted more of these patio rugs but just couldn’t figure out where to put them!

The hanging paper lanterns above the chairs are covers around hanging lightbulbs.  You can tell they are pretty sunbleached, but I luv the fun look of having hanging stars that light in the evening so I couldn’t just toss them.  I did give them a facelift with Krylon spray paint which I had left over from another project (if you’ve been following me you know how I luv  Krylon) which was still transparent enough to let the black line detail show through.  Here’s the before and after which I luv!

Paper star laterns refresh paper star laterns

What else was added to the patio?
This side table were re-used and re-painted with a lime green and turquoise (Krylon spray paint of course!).

reused outdoor furniture

Succulents in clay pots add some color and form to a large blank wall. Purchased the large pot only for $20

Succulent patio plants

A few other existing outdoor accessories like the DIY driftwood tree and another pot with a variety of succulents were added to the other side table nearby

Outdoor decor


It makes for a great escape we pretend is our little island at home and with a good book,you can lounge on the patio all afternoon!





Drab to Fab: 1930s Arm Chair

Reupholstered chair

So what do you think of the FAB part of the re-upholstered chair? This was a 1930-1940’s armchair we picked up from a neighbor’s estate sale.  The lines of the chair were just too classic to pass up, plus it had a down filled seat cushion so it was dreamy to sit in! The downside was obviously the worn out fabric that looked like it was 70 years old, but at least the green was a livable color for a while.

So, it sat in our bedroom for a couple of years until we finally decided it needed a facelift and we had the money to do it. Let me be the first to say this was not a DIY job entirely! There are many things I will try but here’s what put it on my “need help from pro”…

1. Lots of sewing required to re-upholster this piece (to me this sounded extra tricky)

2. Lots of piping! Having had the experience of sewing piping on my dining room chairs I wasn’t anxious to repeat on this size of a project.

3. Lots of cutout areas around the wood arms and legs…yikes!

4. Time!!!!! Since I had never attempted to re-upholster anything this big or complex, all I could see was months of my time sewing, ripping out, sewing again, and calling my mom in tears begging her to fly out and vacation to fix it all (p.s. she does awesome upholstery work but doubt it would be the vacation of her dreams!)

1930s upholstered chair

So this chair was my first piece of furniture to be professionally re-upholstered and I would totally do it again!  I thought professional re-upholsterly was only for the rich and famous, which I’m not, but it was completely doable and here’s my experience…

1. Find a good upholstery shop. I didn’t know one but Yelp app came in handy. Great list of shops with reviews – yea!

2. Get an idea of price.  Two things affect price, your fabric choice and the amount of work. I did all the pricing estimates by email. The shop asked for a photo of the chair and returned an estimate which included upholstery ($600), refinishing the wood ($200) and re-stuffing the cushion.

p.s. I also asked for an estimate to make a slipcover for a coordinating ottoman. The price of the slipcover was as much as buying a new one so I skipped it!

3. Since I’m completely ok with refinishing wood and there was so little wood, I decided for DIY refinishing. Took only about an hour plus dry time between top coats.

4. Delivered the chair to the upholstery shop and he asked me a bunch of questions about fabric ideas to steer me in the right direction. If you’ve never been in an upholstery shop (which I hadn’t) this is the overwhelming part and part eye candy!  There are literally a jillion fabric swatches everywhere and a million more books of fabric swatches. You really want to look at them all but DON’T do it – you will go insane!  The shop owner steered me to a small set of books to look through that were in the fabric price range and type of fabric I described (4 books of swatches so plenty of choices!)  Pick one and off you go.  Yes you can check out the books and take them home too.

(Tip: If your fabric has a pattern your cost may go up slightly since they will need extra fabric to match the pattern as they put it together)

Luckily, the shop offered to include re-stuffing the cushions with fresh down so my cost was just the re-upholstery!

Re-upholstery took about 3 weeks.  When it returned to our bedroom I did add the DIY Ikat pattern pillow.  Just the right accessory to pull in other colors of the bedroom!

Refinished armchair


So don’t be scared off by calling in the upholstery pros when you have a piece you really luv!

DIY: Vintage Danish Octagon Dining Set

Vintage danish octagon dining table


If you’ve spent any time on Craigslist it can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack…a million wrong choices but you hope for the one great find!  I was on the hunt for a dining room set and came across this amazing find – vintage octagon Danish mid-century modern dining table …with chairs! If you’ve ever looked for a dining set you’ll understand my excitment at finding 6 chairs with the table because I felt extra lucky!  Plus I absolutely luv, luv, luv, that the table is an octagon! I luv round tables since they make table talk so cozy.

I luv Danish style furniture and was jumping for joy when I found this beaute.  Yes, that’s harvest gold velvet fabric on the dining chairs but completely fixable …although I was contemplating keeping it since it looked so great with the wood tone.  And yes those are interesting blue dots in the middle of the table – very retro but add great character!

And did you see the lines on the chairs…yep I was drooling!

Vintage danish mid century dining chairs


No the harvest gold didn’t live on, but with a bit of reupholstrey help from mom, it was a DIY reupholstery possible task!  Yes, I had to re-evaluate just how much piping I wanted on the chairs.  I decided only on the backs but not on the seats – very practically, the piping on the seats would get a lot of wear and I didn’t want to replace the upholstery anytime soon!  I also decided on using an indoor/outdoor fabric that was soft but cleaned up well since these chairs would be starting their life with at least one kid under 5 and of course wine drinking adults.

Here’s the DIY reupholstered chairs…

reupholstered Vintage danish mid century dining chairs


For the table the wood and finish was in great condition so just a couple coats of Danish oil and it looked brilliant – no sanding, no refinishing (but I’m sure in a couple years the table top itself will need some TLC).

If  you need inspiration for furniture treasures on Craigslist, Emily Henderson’s blog (HGTV host)  has been posting some great finds in different cities with her amazing redo style ideas!


Business Bits: Business Billboard Art

Dragon sidewalk chalk art


Business billboard sidewalk chalk art? In case you’re looking for a unique way to promote your bricks and mortar business (or outdoor show booth) that is virtually free – assuming you can draw, use a template or find a great artist friend – check out this inspiration! Dragon sidewalk chart art was at the entrance to an ice cream shop “Treats” and next door happened to be a magic shop “Tricks”.  Maybe you’re a bath shop next to a massage shop? How about island chalk art, bathtub with bubbles and duckies with an arrow to “Rub” and another to “Tub”. The possibilities are endless and Yes as a potential customer this art did get my attention to stop and check it out…didn’t need a trick but did need a treat!

I know you’re thinking this is just and exception and no one really does chalk art for business but big business does…cable channel TBS, Nike, American Medical Association have all used chalk art to promote.

Another bricks and mortar (or show booth) business billboard inspiration is the 101th use for a repurposed picture frame. DIY this picture frame with a mesh backing and add rotating hangers for new and changing merchandise inside!

DIY Picture frame billboard

Creating a business billboard with art? Would luv to see it and share it!

Drab to FAB DIY Rolling Cart

DIY Repainted teacart

Just had to share this Drab to FAB, ugly ducking to beautiful swan DIY repainted teacart! This is the type of teacart you pick up at places like Tuesday Morning, Ross or Marshalls and you can’t be sure it’s real wood…but it has such a great style you just can’t pass it up. And no, this isn’t the teacart you’re likely to pass down through the generations as an antique and this DIY retro party cart isn’t either!

The ugly duckling teacart start out with this hideous bad…and I mean really bad black paint finish. The shape of the curved shelves underneath, the carved legs and the classic tray top had all the making of “good bones”.

So how do you transform it into the FAB beautiful swan? My two favorite DIY repainting tools, Krylon Espresso Satin spray paint and Antique Gold rubbing wax!

1. Tape off the wheels so you don’t cover them in paint

2. Hand sanding – Yes this did require some hand sanding (100 grit does a quick job) since most of it wasn’t real wood just a very heavy fiberboard. Any machine sanding would have likely damaged it. In case you’re think ugggh hand sanding! It really only took about 20 minutes to get it decently smooth

3. Paint – Just a little over 1 can of spray paint to put on 3ish coats and give it good coverage.

4. Add rubbing wax – After it dried for about a day I added rubbing wax with a cloth. Just a very thin coat rubbed around the top edge to give it a bit of style and keep it looking just a bit aged

Viola! DIY Repainted Teacart is ready for its job of hosting a teaparty for its charming owner (no it’s not at my house).

Check out the transformation photos (you can view as a slideshow by clicking on any photo to start)

DIY: Tables in the Air

hanging night stand




Who couldn’t use a little more floor space and a unique piece of furniture? A walk through Anthropologie always get my wheels turning on doing things a little different. I luv this idea of a DIY table in the air and suspended for a night stand

Ok I haven’t officially tried my own yet, but it’s on my list and would luv to hear if you have! The DIY plan for the suspended table looks pretty simple. Piece of cut plywood stained or painted. Drilled holes for the rope and knotted on the underside. Depending on the weight you’re planning to hang J-hooks, like something used for heavy planters would do the job screwed into the ceiling for a night stand. Anchoring the hooks for sure is required! 

I can tell you I luv sitting in rope swing seats table side that we found at a restaurant in Belize. If I could rig up hanging swing seats for my patio table I definitely would! I think swinging things just make you feel like a big kid and who doesn’t want that carefree feeling again!

How about a suspended table! Luv this idea

Maybe a great living room suspended coffee table is the piece of your dreams!

Suspended coffee table

Photo by Patrick McMullen

Have a small space and need the dining area to do double and triple duty?  Luv this suspended dining table that can move between low floor height for a Japanese dinner, dining chair height and then just completely reeled up to the ceiling to use the entire floor space below…genius!

suspended and movable table


Enjoy figuring out how to make your furniture hang in the air! Shoot over a pic if you’ve tried a suspended table and any tips. I’ll be sure to share and credit back to ya!

Repurposed Wooden Legs

Wood chair leg art display


I’m always on the look out for new ways to repurposed old things. I’ve seen a million ways to use old chair backs and seats and old table tops..but what about repurposing old chair and table LEGS? Yep this is it – a great use of old wooden chair and table legs, pops of color (although this set has less pop for me but I do like the mix of stained and painted, mix of styles, heights and widths!)

This would be great as a display on the fireplace mantle or a buffet table. Getting more ambitious? Transform the wooden chair and table legs into candle holders like these or you can save yourself time and just buy them too!

Spindleabra repurposed Table and Chair legs

Source: Hipcycle














Have a few broken chair parts? How about the spindles and legs as a magazine rack or basket. Painted and distressed all one color would be a great rustic option!

Old chair spindles upcycled into a magazine holder

Source: dishfunctionaldesigns









Enjoy taking time to repurpose those chair and table legs into something fabulous!

DIY Day: DIY Frame for Rotating Art Gallery

DIY Rotating Art frame


Just like mason jars there are more than 100 ideas for reusing and repurposing picture frames! I’m always looking for a great way to make a rotating art galley that is easy to change and has some style. My take on a DIY picture frame …

  • Any size wood frame – a wide frame works best and I’d suggest nothing smaller than 2×3 feet!  Easy to find at thrift stores and flea markets and no need to worry about the picture inside the frame
  • A light sand and your fav paint – spray or latex (I used my Krylon spray paint in a lime green)
  • Chicken mesh wire is stapled to the back – you can find pre-cut rolled wire at your home store. It can be cut with wire cutters or tin snips and if you have neither a heavy duty pair of scissors that you don’t mind getting a bit dull.
  • Tip: Make sure you know the width of your frame so you get wire that is wide enough to fit across the opening.
  • Once you cut the wire then it’s just a quick staple job.  I found that stapling the wire at an angle where the circles connected helped keep it from slipping.  The ends that I cut were folded in.
  • You can add picture hanging sawtooth hanger to the backside of the frame (which you can find at your local craft store) or just hang the frame directly on a couple large nail heads.
  • Wooden clothespins for hanging the art or photos.  If I had more spare time I’d consider decorating the clothespins too!

Here’s the inspiration frame

DIY ideas for picture frames













Here’s a few OTHER great ideas for DIY picture frames in case you have a few frames stashed away that need inspiration or are on the hunt for a few…

Burlap pocket frames for holding treasures or supplies

Hang frames backwards and staple a burlap pocket.
















Flower vase frames

 Flower vase DIY picture frames


Or how about 3-D DIY Picture frames with cut branches

Branches DIY Picture frame


Enjoy making your own rotating art or photo galley with a DIY picture frame!

DIY Day: Chalk Design Wallpaper

Chalkboard wallpaper

Visiting Anthropologie is always eye candy for me – they have great displays, lots of DIY and fab ideas for the everyday decor! What caught my eye this time was this great use of a chalkboard wall reinvented as DIY chalkboard wallpaper! Luv the idea of a simple repeating chalk design as wallpaper.  You can recreate this look with chalkboard paint or with rolls of chalkboard contact paper. Either way you can redesign your room on a whim with colored chalk and a new design!

DIY Chalk design wallpaper with home decor pieces built into the design which gives it a  3-D effect…luv it!

DIY Chalk design wallpaper

Source: houseofchicandpenoche

Looking for the empty wall? Great idea for chalk board wall in the bathroom to capture your friends creativity when they take a p-break…beware this may make for a long bathroom line!

Bathroom DIY Chalkboard wall

Source: bexcetera

Have a favorite city? A great idea for a DIY Chalk Wall Map …patience is a must with this one!

DIY Chalkboard wall map

Source: Dismountcreative

Enjoy your spare time creating a fabulous DIY Chalk wallpaper design and then redesigning!

DIY Handpainted Mirror

DIY handpainted mirror

Have an old mirror that needs a facelift? Or maybe one that just doesn’t is looking a little blah and could have a better life with a little pop!  This was a former Homegoods mirror that lead a blah life over the fireplace. Going through a living room redo lately this mirror needed a new life and ended up as a DIY handpainted mirror for a teen bedroom.  Luv circular mirrors especially with the fab detailed cutout design around it!

Below is the original color of the mirror …

chalk vase


Steps to making the DIY Handpainted mirror – no art experience required!

  • Prep the mirror for painting by taping and covering the mirror with paper (newspaper, paperbag or anything will do). If you can easily remove the mirror from the frame itself that works too!
  • Paint the base color of your mirror – I used Krylon Black Semi-Gloss spray paint to reach all the edges of the cutout area. Flip it and paint from the backside if you have a cutout design like this to cover well

DIY spraypainted mirror

  • The next step is the most fun! Pick your paint colors to handpaint. I know you’re thinking it looks like a lot of work but here are the easy ways to make it “no art experience needed”.
  • Use paint pens! They give you great edges and control and come in a ton of colors. I used the DecoColor opaque paint markers – basically they work like a permanent marker! I did try using a fine brush with acrylic craft paint and for me I didn’t give the look I wanted (too transparent and too many brush strokes visible)
  • I used just 2 colors for the handpainting (purple and neon pink) and basically followed the curves of the cutouts.  Decided I liked just a few areas handpainted with black areas still unpainted.
  • I didn’t clear coat the top since this piece wouldn’t be handled once it was hung and it was out of the sunlight.  Clear coating with a sealer if you’re prefer

DIY Painted mirror


Enjoy giving an old mirror new life with DIY handpainting!