Living Room Mini Makeover and Photo Shoot

As briefly mentioned in my last post, recently I spent a few days hurrying around the house replacing most of Charlotte’s strewn toys with pretty décor accents instead to shoot some of my rooms for inclusion in an upcoming blogger design book!

Cottage Country Living Room with Brown Leather Sofas | The Painted Hive

I loved having the excuse to dress-up the house with, what is now, the otherwise completely impractical placement and use of accessories; for obvious reasons, clusters of delicate real roses and stacks of fragile vintage books not being my usual choice for the current adornment of any low-lying surfaces! Though, that said, they did manage to stay rather safely in place for a good few days.

Country Cottage Living Room | The Painted Hive

Along with styling the spaces, I also updated a few of the more permanent features. In my living room I’ve added a new throw, some new scatter cushions and a new ceramic drum stool.

Cottage Country Living Room with Brown Leather Sofas | The Painted Hive

I made the cushion covers myself. The long bold striped one is a repurposed $5 IKEA door mat (I bought the mat about a year ago and think they are now discontinued). Being a door mat, it is quite heavily woven so has a lovely knobby texture and visibly dense appearance though it is still surprisingly soft. The cable knit throw was found on sale at Spotlight for $25.

Cottage Country Living Room with Brown Leather Sofas | The Painted Hive

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you may have seen back in August that I mentioned picking-up some new ceramic drum stools from eBay. They were around $40 each (a great price for here in Oz where they usually retail for well over $100) though were only available in red or black – not my colours of choice. Though, being such a bargain, rather than pass them up based on colour alone, I opted to buy black stools (one for me and one for Mum) and have a go at re-finishing one in my own custom shade.

Cottage Country Living Room with Brown Leather Sofas | The Painted Hive

I was super pleased with how it turned out and now, around a month on, even with Charlotte’s ‘road-testing’, it still looks great and has absolutely no signs of chips or wear. I’ll post the tutorial shortly!

I hope everyone’s enjoying a happy, albeit hectic, Christmas lead up! Sorry for my absence of seasonal related posts. To be honest, although I love Christmas time, donning the synthetic tree with pretty fairy lights is, for the moment, about as Christmasy as it gets around here décor wise. I’m sure once Charlotte, and the ‘soon-to-be’, are a little older there’ll be plenty of seasonal crafting and decorating going on.

 

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Chair Revamp with Metal Seat Plates

Phew, it has been a busy few weeks around here!

Aside from all the regular hoo-hah, I spent a few whirlwind days updating, cleaning, styling and shooting a few of my rooms for inclusion in an upcoming home blogger’s book! I don’t want to say too much yet, just in case something falls through, though will be sure to divulge more details when things are a little more concrete (however, I should clarify that the book is not by me or all about me – by no means am I important or interesting enough for that – I’m simply contributing). In the mean time at least I now have some some tizzied-up spaces, complete with spanking new photos, which I can share over the coming weeks.

In other news, I finally finished refurbishing a set of six chairs I bought waaaay back in the Cretaceous period. Okay, so maybe not quite that long ago, though you get the idea.

Pressed Back Cottage Dining Chairs Before

I originally found these chairs on eBay and picked them up for just $5.50! Yes, for ALL of them! They were in pretty rough shape, many of them with missing or loose dowel supports and most of them with badly broken or sagging rattan seat inserts.

Cottage Chair Revamp with Metal Seat Plate

Being completely ill-equipped in the (to me, complex) art of re-caning, I decided to remove all of the rattan and cover the inevitable holes with padded seats instead. Though then, me being me, I had an idea (don’t worry, it didn’t hurt too much :-) What if, instead of conventional upholstered pads, I used metal plates? They could off-set some of the sweet cottage style with a subtle industrial edge and give the chairs that little point of distinction. Sure, they might not be as plush as cushioned pads, though we have some metal chairs and they are surprisingly comfy, plus they are super easy to clean (and the addition of topical seat pads is still always an option).

Anyhoo, firstly I re-glued and braced any loose joints. This included replacing a few of the missing and broken horizontal leg dowels completely. Once set, I gave the chairs a light all-over sand (I wanted to distress the chairs once painted so didn’t worry about sanding too thoroughly). I did kinda like the original timber finish though considering I had to replace some of the dowels the wood was no longer completely consistent so I decided to paint the chairs in a soft blue-grey (sorry, though as usual I made the colour up using paint remnants so can’t disclose an actual colour). With all their intricate spindles, to save time and frustration, I sprayed the chairs using my trusty air compressor.

Cottage Chair Revamp with Metal Seat Plates

I’m lucky to have a brother-in-law in the metal industry so he machined the seat plates for me (thanks Joshy!) though I could have purchased some metal sheeting and cut them myself easily enough. I attached them to the chairs using simple little dome head screws. I then distressed the frames, rather heavily, by hand using a medium grit hard sanding block. I contemplated glazing the chairs to bring out some extra detail in the carvings though decided they were just right as is.

Cottage Chair After Details

I have the chairs in my dining room temporarily and do really love them though will probably end up on-selling them. After all, how many sets of six dining chairs does a small family with one four seater dining table really need?

Cottage Dining Chair Before and After

 

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Spray Paint Door Hardware Update

Hey all! Just chiming in with an easy, non-earth shattering, little spray paint project…

As with our two built-in robes (one in the master bedroom and one in the nursery) which were originally fitted with ugly beige metal tracks and surrounds, we also have an external sliding door complete with the same unsightly hardware with the added bonus of a clunky, though kinda necessary, locking handle. The sliding door forms what is technically a side access-way (into our soon-to-be-finished home office space) though due to logistics, more often than not, it’s actually used as the house’s main entrance.

Sliding Door Update Before

Sorry I don’t have a shot of the door in its entirety – at the moment it’s kinda tricky to photograph though when I reveal my home office I’ll include some better ‘whole’ images. Anyhoo, as you can see, along with wearing messy remnants of timber stain and paint from the previous home owners, the beige track and handle are clearly old, tired and just plain yuk. In the future I might consider replacing the sliding door completely with some lovely french double doors though for now I’m simply after a quick, affordable freshen-up.

When I first decorated our master bedroom I transformed the metal robe surrounds with some white spray paint…

Barn Style Wardrobe Door Makeover

I did the same thing in the nursery with black spray paint…

Chalkboard Alphabet Wardrobe Door Makeover

So again, rather than fork out unnecessary cashola to replace our perfectly functional sliding door track and handle, I decided to make the most of what we already had and opt for an easy, budget cosmetic update.

I considered using a metal effects paint (like antique bronze or iron black) though instead decided to camouflage the handle and track by spraying them white to match the existing door frame. This made the painting process relatively easy as over-spray wasn’t too much of a concern. I simply cleaned the metal thoroughly, taped-up the nearby carpeted areas, put down an old towel and carefully painted everything in situ.

I applied around four or five fine coats of gloss enamel spray paint from all attainable angles until the coverage was even and thorough. And, no, the spray paint wasn’t colour matched to the existing door frame. Using an aerosol is pretty forgiving so I just bought an off-the-shelf white and it blends in seamlessly.

Simple DIY Sliding Door Hardware Update

It’s a subtle change, and whilst the door isn’t suddenly beautiful, it’s no longer an out-dated eyesore. Finishing the hardware to match the surrounding architraves makes for a much more cohesive and clean overall look, with the previously prominent handle and track now ‘disappearing’ into the woodwork (at least I like to think so).

I completed this project around a month ago now. We use the door frequently and so far the new paintwork is holding up great with absolutely no signs of chips or wear. As a cheap and easy temporary fix I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Gotta love spray paint!

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s certainly not an earth shattering project (well, hey, I guess I can’t be super fabtabulous all the time :-) though it is a very do-able, simple yet effective one.

 

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Charlotte’s Nursery in Little One Baby Magazine

Little One Baby Magazine Feature

A few weeks ago we were lucky to have a photographer from Little One Baby magazine at our house to shoot Charlotte’s nursery for an accompanying article in their now released summer issue.

Thanks to editor Amy Doak and photographer Rebecca Gray for the feature. It’s lovely to have something in print to remember Charlotte’s first room by – especially as it soon may be undergoing some changes to suitably accommodate the new impending little being.

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And Then There Were Four…

…well, technically five if I want to avoid canine discrimination (dogs are family members too, aren’t they?), and six if I also count the vacuum cleaner which I’m sure Charlotte thinks is her pet miniature pony.

Either way, there is to be a new little bee in our busy hive…

Baby Ultrasound

Due mid March 2013. We can’t wait.

 

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