red floors white floors

White floors. I have them. Well, I have them now…I’ve always wanted to paint the floors in this house, white. From the very first moment I walked into the house (we rent) until the moment I (we) painted them. The house needed white floors. Actually, what it needed was anything but the dark red, dank floors it had…regretfully, we lived with those dark, dank floors for years before taking the leap into white – our landlord didn’t share our vision initially and after a few winters here, I said, that’s it – we’re painting them, what’s the worse scenario, we paint them back to red? Plus, they needed fresh paint. They were chipping and peeling and just a downright wrong surface for a baby to be crawling on. Of course we had rugs, but surrounding the rugs, was the red floor – ugghhh. Personally, I think we did the owners a favor. Once we started, there was no looking back. The only problem was the guest bedroom down stairs – it just never got painted. We did the main living areas, the stair case and the upstairs, but we never painted the guest room floor. Well, more accurately, we just couldn’t seem to find the time between adjusting to life with a new baby (he’s nearly 3 now), our business and living the life we live in Maine.  There was little time left for ‘redecorating’, to say the least. But that floor still needed to be painted.

The room needed it, the overall house needed it. The flow downstairs was interrupted by that red floor – it was time for it to be painted. I needed it to be done – and I’m so glad I finally did it. What a difference.

It’s incredible how simple changes in our surroundings effect our overall being. Granted, my house is far from perfect; perfect is weird anyway – how can anyone live in a perfect house? It’s the little changes that make a big difference – next project, that chair…

The paint cost $28

(I went for low cost paint since it is a rental) and now I have plenty left over to freshen up the other rooms too.

It took three nights, one hour each night of painting and now it’s done. My environment is very important to me – in particular, my home. I feel our quality of life is greatly affected by how we live in our home as well as how our home reflects who we are – the more your home reflects you, the more you can be you. So go ahead and make your home more yours (even if you rent). Paint the floors, rip up the carpet/linoleum (ok, this is a major project, I realize this) but if you hate your floor coverings (and can afford to) – do it.  Paint the walls – even just one room or one wall can shift how you feel in the space. Move furniture around within a room or exchange pieces between rooms – free ‘shopping’. Buy a low maintenance plant – amazing what a plant can bring to a space…or simply hang that picture you’ve been meaning to hang … do something to improve your overall being, through your surroundings – it doesn’t need to cost a fortune either, usually it’s the small stuff that makes the biggest difference. Even something as simple (and free) as organizing your junk drawer can make you feel good. Do it. Get organized, do that ‘thing’ you’ve been meaning to do – clean and clean out. You’ll feel better for it.

Curious to check out the rest of my house? See here.

Want some inspiration for more flooring ideas? See here.

What’s one simple change you’d like to see in your home?

an old chair becomes new again

I was bored with my kitchen chairs. They were looking tired and just said, blah. With the long dark winter approaching, I decided they needed a change. A simple and low cost solution – recover the seat bases. Voila’ new chairs. They are much happier now, as am I. The chairs themselves cost me $2.50 each at auction. I liked the delicate curves and the price.

The vintage ticking (picked up at Brimfield a few years ago) cost me $2.00. Total cost $4.50 for a ‘new’ chair, not bad. I wanted them to have a lighter look for the upcoming long dark winter – what better way than vintage ticking.

The whole process only took about 20 minutes. First I removed the bases from the chair. Look under the seat base to see how it is attached;

If it’s screws, it’s easy – simply unscrew.

Then you can remove the old fabric (I’ve already removed a few layers so I didn’t bother this time – this isn’t the first time these chairs were recovered!) and then recover with new or just cover over the old as I did.

Cut the fabric slightly larger than the base itself.  Mine is a bit longer than needed, but I wanted to use up the remaining yardage I had.

You need enough to be able to pull it taught on each side. You can measure or not. I don’t. I keep it simple. I place the seat on the new fabric, pull on each side to see how much I will need to ensure a nice tight fit and then cut. If you do prefer exact measurements – measure and add 1 inch to each side. Be sure to include the height – measure just under the lip on the bottom,  then up the side and continue across the top to bottom and then again, side to side. In this example, my fabric was on the narrow side, so I didn’t have to cut the left and right sides, I had to work with what was there. It could have been a bit wider, but I made it work. These are going to have a lot of use and I’m sure I’ll be recovering them again in the spring, so I didn’t get all crazy with perfection…I just wanted them to look pretty again, quickly and inexpensively.

Start on one side. Begin in center. Pull fabric taught, press down firmly with staple gun and staple. Continue working outwards from there. Repeat with the opposite side of the seat. Pull firmly against the first row of staples to be sure you’ve gotten rid of any wrinkles or bunches. Again, start stapling at the center and spread outwards. When you encounter curves, fold the fabric, making sure all the bunching occurs under the seat and is not visible from the top. Secure the folds with staples. If you make a mistake, pull out the staples and start over. Experiment with corners – try wrapping it like a present; if it’s to bulky, cut away excess, being careful not to cut away too much.

Once all sides have been stapled, remove/trim excess fabric – I don’t, no one is going to see the underside but me.

Return to chair base and screw back in place.

Joy has been returned to my chairs – simple changes create simple pleasures…

Enjoy change.