Jul 14, 2014

instagram anyone?

I’ll be taking some time off for family vacation but thanks to Instagram, I’m not too far away...


Jul 10, 2014

Now everything needs to change...

Since I added my banquette bench I started some work on changing the look of my kitchen. I’ll be painting, ripping out some cabinets and adding a cool feature or two. I’m looking to brighten and lighten up my kitchen and create more of a rustic industrial space. Warm wood, lots of white and some industrial accents are coming your way. For some ideas on how to create this look in your own space you can read more about it here...

via House Beautiful

Jul 8, 2014

Indoor summer decorating with an outdoor rug...



homeware
In many homes across the country summer is the time of flips flops, picnics, days at the beach or pool, and lots of outdoor fun. Realistically this means dirt, sand, random puddles and lots of little messes. One of the best ways to combat that while still keeping your home looking like it did at the beginning of the summer is to invest in an outdoor rug for the indoors. I’m over at the Homeware blog today giving you some ideas to make that happen. Come stop by!

Jul 2, 2014

from tv armoire to banquette bench...



banquette bench


Once upon a time I had a tv armoire. It was getting old and showing its’ age. Lot of bumps, knicks and other unprettiness. It was 10 years old and not the greatest piece. Probably 70% particleboard and veneer, 30% wood. I had tried to sell it twice on Craigslist with no bites. It was too heavy to even take to the curb in the hopes that someone would have pity on it (or me) and take it away. It was totally controlling the layout of my living room and I wanted it gone. Yesterday.

banquette bench

I was in the beginning stages of building a banquette for my kitchen, tossing around how I would get this project done. I planned on buying some cabinetry to build a bench with a back. Then one night I sat on my sofa sketching out some ideas and I happened to look across the living room at my tv armoire. The width was perfect, the depth was perfect and with some careful cutting the height would be too. I double checked my measurements and then called up my brother just to make sure this was feasible and to make sure he had the tools to make it happen. I got the go-ahead and we got to work cutting the cabinet into two pieces. 

banquette bench

banquette bench

filled all the holes and sanded the entire piece to get it ready to paint. One coat of primer and three coats of glossy white paint and I had a bright and shiny new bench.

banquette bench

I replaced the hardware with some that matched the rest of my kitchen and then it was on to the fun part, fabric!

banquette bench

I decided on a geometric pattern with a lively color to brighten up my slightly dark kitchen. A Target Threshold tablecloth ended up being my fabric of choice.

With some help from my father I built the back of the bench. I wanted a tall comfortable back to add plenty of color and comfort to my kitchen table.

banquette bench

With some foam and my new fabric I upholstered the back and then attached the back to the wall.

banquette bench

banquette bench

The very last step was adding a cushion. I ordered some high density foam cut to size and created a no sew bench cushion. There were a lot of steps involved but very worth it! Follow the links to see how each individual step was completed.

banquette bench

banquette bench

banquette bench

banquette bench



Jul 1, 2014

no sew bench cushion

Continuing on with my banquette, the next (and final) step in the entire process was a bench cushion. I ordered myself a three inch piece of foam custom cut just slightly larger than the measurements of my bench. I would be wrapping this tightly with batting and fabric. I wanted the cushion to extend just a bit from the base of the bench. 

Since this would be a bench I was using everyday I wanted to get good quality foam. I ordered Lux High Quality foam which is suggested for seats, chairs, cushions, benches and mattresses. The typical life span of this foam is 16 years. 

no sew bench cushion

It arrived all rolled up so I let opened it up and straighten out for a day or two. In the meantime I had a piece of MDF cut at Home Depot to the measurements of the bench. (Note to self: always check the measurements after your piece has been cut. They might get offended but it is worth it to come home with the right size!!!)  I took the MDF and foam outside and used some spray adhesive to mount the foam, centering the foam on top of the MDF. Always use spray adhesive in a well ventilated area. Outside is best!

no sew bench cushion

Once the foam was secure to the MDF I brought it inside, laid out my batting, flipped the foam/MDF over so the MDF was on top and stapled it together. Once I had one side done I was able to tightly pull the other sides. 

no sew bench cushion

I saved the corners for last, folding them in to create a seamless top. I then trimmed the extra batting. This step gives a softer edge to your foam corners and makes adding the fabric even easier. 

no sew bench cushion

The next step was the trickiest. I decided to use matching fabric for the bench cushion instead of a solid gray fabric. I purchased one more tablecloth and now had to line up the pattern so that the  bench back and cushion were symmetrical. This process would definitely have been easier with a non-geometric print but I’m happy with the results.

I lined the back of the bench up with the un-stapled bench cushion so that the patterns lined up. I then place one securing staple on the edge of the MDF just to hold it in position. That way once I flipped the cushion over I knew I was stapling it in the right place.

no sew bench cushion

I then stapled the heck out of it, taking care to make neat even corners. The best method for this is to determine which edge is the front. Tuck the side flaps under the front and then fold the front over that, like wrapping a present. By doing this the front edge is totally straight with no corners or extra fabric visible. 

no sew bench cushion

I then took it one extra step. Let me explain myself on this one. 

I have children. 

Children are messy. 

I may have scoffed in the past about people who cover their furniture with plastic. 

I take it all back. 

I had done all this work and I wanted it to last. I figured if the plastic wasn’t too obvious, why not? My bench cushion would stay cleaner and last longer. This would be a place where the two messiest people in my five-person household sit. I wanted them enjoy the space and until napkins became an everyday habit for them plastic was the way to go. 

I found some at my local Hollinsworth 5 &10 which is a great local resource for DIY and craft items. The plastic was cut to fit my measurements. I brought it home to first test out. If it was glaringly obvious I probably would not have used plastic. The picture below shows the banquette back (no plastic) with the bench cushion wrapped in plastic on the bottom. I was afraid it would be too shiny or just look like a bit wad of plastic. I’m happy to say it doesn’t look like either. I was sold.

no sew bench cushion

I used the same process to staple the plastic down as I did the fabric. I stapled one side, then pulled tightly as I stapled the other three. I carefully folded the corners last so that the visible edge was the neatest. Once everything was stapled down I trimmed off the excess plastic. 

The finished cushion was then place on the bench, lined up and drilled in from underneath. I removed the drawers to do this. This way there was no slipping and I had a secure, sturdy piece of furniture. The cushion can easily be removed it necessary.

no sew bench cushion

The whole process took me about 1 hour to complete. If I wasn’t trying to line up the pattern between the banquette back and the cushion it would have been much quicker. Try this process for any bench or chair you are looking to add a cushion too. 

no sew bench cushion

no sew bench cushion

no sew bench cushion

no sew bench cushion
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