Create a Faux ‘Authentic’ Antique Brass Effect

So, I know the post title is kinda an oxymoron though it actually does make some sense. You see, there are elements of both ‘actual’ and ‘artificial’ in my experimental process. Anyhoo, read on to see what the heck I’m on about…

With a new baby due in (gulp!) just four weeks time (when did that happen?) Charlotte will soon be vacating the nursery in favour of a ‘big girl’s’ room. For now the nursery will remain un-touched – at least until we discover if this new bundle is a boy or a girl – though over the past few months I’ve been slowly working on Charlotte’s new space. I conceded months ago that it would never be properly finished before the new addition arrived though figured as long as there was a bed and window dressing the rest could happily wait.

I’ll be sure to divulge all the room’s details when I actually get around to deciding on and implementing them (I’m kinda just letting this one evolve) though for now I wanted to share a metal dipped treatment I experimented with on the bed legs.

DIY Faux Antique Brass Effect

A while ago I picked up two colonial style single beds from eBay for just $25 each…

Colonial Single Beds Before

Photo from eBay listing.
I know, I know, you’re cringing right now, though never fear…I have a vision…kinda.

So, why two beds? Well, more on that in a future post (it might have something to do with the fact that I can’t leave well enough alone and may, or may not, get slightly crazy ideas).

Anyhoo, whilst I liked the timber tone of the beds they were badly coated with an obviously streaky stain so I decided a distressed painted finish was the best option, though I also wanted to add something a little different…I just wasn’t sure exactly what.

When I began preparing the frames for painting I noticed there were cute little brass caps on the tips of the upright posts (which were previously masked by the colour of the stain).

Brass Post Caps

Seeing them gave me some inspiration so I decided I’d try a faux brass ‘dipped’ effect on the feet!

I know brass is on trend right now though to me it has always been desirable. Done right, it’s classic and timeless and I’ve always loved it and used it in my home. I prefer the deep tones and dirty patination of antique brass over the yellow hues and perfect sheen of polished brass though I guess they both have their place.

Dotted-Break

The following tutorial merely outlines the experimental process I used to achieve the metallic look I wanted. Depending on the type of brassy finish you’re after, you can tweak the process, omitting or adding steps as needed. To create as realistic as possible an effect, I used a multi-layered approach though there are loads of single application products you can try (including spray paints, waxes and standard liquid paints) if you’re after a quick, easy metallic hit! Without layers I find the results are usually somewhat flatter, though, like I said, it’s all just a matter of personal preference :-) 

How To Create a Faux Brass Effect

STEP 1 My starting point; as per the rest of the bed the feet were hand painted and distressed.
Granted, I didn’t need to do this (seeing they would be ‘brassed’ anyway) though given that at painting stage I was still a little uncommitted to my ‘dip experiment’, I did it regardless (so just in case I backed out at least the bed frame would still be consistent).
I used a sample pot in Dulux ‘Irish Moor’ ($8 – which is from the green colour spectrum though presents more like a blue) from Mitre 10. I know sample pot paints are s’pose to be for colour testing only and are not really recommended for actual application purposes, though I find the Dulux ones fine for finishing furniture if you also use a sealer (and, when you only need a reasonably small amount, they are much cheaper than a whole 500ml tin).

Faux Antique Brass Effect Tutorial

STEP 2 I applied a layer of imitation gold leaf.
So, here’s where the post title comes into play…imitation gold leaf sheets are actually a composite of metals made-up predominately of brass. So, my dipped legs are technically ‘authentic’ brass, though the antiqued appearance is definitely ‘faux’. If left unsealed imitation gold leaf will tarnish naturally over time as per real brass (though we’re talking ages and I wanted the look NOW!).
I’d never ‘leafed’ before and at first found it a little challenging, probably because I was impatient and didn’t use the proper adhesive. Lesson learned; don’t use ordinary craft glue because you don’t have leafing size and can’t be bothered getting some, leafing size makes things easier (and better). To apply the leaf follow the manufacturers directions and try to be patient, and remember, if you’re going for an ‘antiqued’ finish it doesn’t need to be entirely perfect – in fact,  it’s probably better if it’s not!
Having never used gold leaf before I wasn’t sure how it would look. I was really impressed with the metallic sheen though thought it was a little too gaudy, which is why I decided to persist with some extra layers. If you’re after a bright golden finish (or are patient enough to wait for the leaf to tarnish naturally) you could ignore my additional layering steps and leave your piece as is.
I used Monte Marte Imitation Gold Leaf Sheets ($4 for 25 sheets) and Leafing Size ($3 for 60ml) which I found in the arts and crafts section at a local discount store. You can easily find them online or in most craft stores. I used around three sheets of leaf per bed foot. Don’t be put off by the dull appearance of the leaf through the packet (as I initially was) because there is a layer of semi-transparent paper over it (as I later discovered!).

Realistic Looking Antique Brass Effect Tutorial

STEP 3 I applied a sparing amount of metallic wax.
I’m not convinced how necessary this step was though it did seem to tone-down some of the stark straw-ey brightness to a more subtle champagne-bronze (due to some shadowing the colour looks a little deeper in the photo than in real life). To apply the metallic wax follow the manufacturers instructions. The key is to use only a small amount at first then build upon it as necessary to achieve the tone you’re after. Though don’t over do it. You don’t want to deplete the gilded sheen of the leaf. I found that buffing the wax harder in some areas wore away some of the leaf, though in a good, naturally aged kinda way which I think helped with the final patina. If you’re after a slightly muted golden finish you could skip my following step and leave your piece as is.
I used Amaco Rub ‘n Buff in ‘Gold Leaf’ (around $12 for a 15ml tube) which I already had. It is expensive though a small amount goes a super long way. You can find it at discounted prices on eBay or Amazon.

Faux Antique Brass Paint Effect

STEP 4 I finished by painting on a glaze.
Rather than using a traditional brown glaze I actually decided to try a predominately orange one. I know this sounds kinda crazy though I was looking at some of the actual aged brass I had lying around my home and noticed the pieces that appealed most to me had a subtle amber glow.
To make my glaze I mixed a small amount of acrylic sealer with a dash of orange craft paint and a tad of brown craft paint (just so you know, a tad is around a third of a dash – ‘course I just made that up :-) then applied it sparingly with a brush (you may also want to wipe off any excess as you go with a damp cloth). As per applying the wax, the key with glaze is to start with a small amount and build upon it as necessary – it’s kinda like making icing (frosting); you can always add more liquid if needed though taking it away is a little more tricky (and having to add extra sugar always results in waaaay too much mixture which you then have no choice but to lick off the spoon)! Mmmm, icing…did I just digress?
I used Cabots Cabothane Clear Water Based Satin Sealer ($20 for 500ml) cause I already had some, and simple cheap acrylic craft paints ($2 for a 75ml tube). You only need a small amount of glaze and can use any acrylic low-sheen sealer as the base (or, you can of course use proper glaze medium which has a retarded drying time and is probably easier to work with on larger projects).

Faux Rustic Brass Patina How To

I’m really, really, really happy with the results! When compared to some of my actual aged brass it’s a pretty close match. It’s not quite as smooth or reflective as real metal though it has a lovely lustre and authentically aged patination. I’m totally digging the grungy texture and warm amber glow. I realise the depth of colour is completely a matter of personal preference, which is cool, cause with a glaze you can adjust the level of tint and amount you apply to make it as subtle or intense as you like.

All up, I used under $10 worth of product to complete all four bed feet – bargain!

I found a few online examples of actual antique brass so made a little collage to compare…

How To Create a Realistic Faux Aged Brass Patina

Not bad, eh?

My dipped bed legs will eventually be partially concealed by a new bed skirt so will only end up being a subtle little detail in Charlotte’s new room though now I know how to achieve a realistic faux brass effect I’m looking forward to trying it on a larger, bolder scale!

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PS I haven’t forgotten about my chippendale chair and lumber cushion posts…if I haven’t gone into labour they should be coming up next week :-)

 

How To Paint Ceramic…Drum Stool Redo

Some of you may ‘member that back in early December I shared a mini makeover of my living room and as part of that little re-do I included a new side table in the form of a ceramic drum stool. The stool was originally black (which is, of course, a perfectly fine colour) though it was always my intention to re-finish it in a lighter shade ’cause with brown leather sofas and lots of timber tones I felt the space didn’t really need any additional ‘darkness’.

Ceramic Drum Stool Makeover

So, why didn’t I just buy a light coloured stool to begin with then?

Well…I tend to get ants in my pants which for some strange reason makes me change out my accent pieces fairly often. This means I like to keep ’em reasonably cheap, though I found the going retail price for most ceramic drum stools here in Oz wasn’t really my idea of cheap (don’t get me wrong, they aren’t ridiculously expensive or anything, it’s just that I’m particularly tight :-). Anyhoo, so when I spotted some on eBay for in excess of half the price I’d seen them elsewhere I decided to snatch ’em up (two in total – one for me and one for Mum). Problem was, they were only available in red or black (sometimes, okay, most of the time, being particularly tight means forgoing the luxury of choice, though luckily I’m cool with that ’cause making decisions is hard)!

Ceramic Drum Stools

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

My Aussie readers may also have seen these stools in The Reject Shop late last year for $40 each. Along with red and black they also had white though I bought my stools about two weeks prior to seeing them in the catalogue – go figure! The previous stools all sold out pretty quick smart though the good news is The Reject Shop are currently promoting them again! Sale starts today (Thursday 14 Feb)! Check out the online catalogue here.
Also, for my Melbourne-based readers, in case you miss-out on The Reject Shop’s stools, you can still purchase the red or black ones from eBay (pick up only, no shipping). You can check ’em out here.

I’m well aware there is nothing particularly clever, original or skilled about transforming a piece of furniture (ceramic or otherwise) with some simple spray paint though when I mentioned it in my living room post there was quite a bit of interest, particularly in the durability and glossiness of the finish, so here’s how I did it…

How To Paint Ceramic

STEP 1 First lightly sand the entire surface by hand using a sanding block and some fine-grit sandpaper.
My drum, as with most ceramics, was smooth and glossy. Giving it some ‘teeth’ by scuffing-up the surface helps the paint stick much more effectively. Don’t be tempted to use an overly abrasive sandpaper thinking the more grazed you make the surface, the better the paint will adhere. Heavy-grit paper can cause noticeable scratches. A light all-over scuff is really all that’s required.

STEP 2 Thoroughly clean the item to remove all sanding dust and other residue before applying one or two coats of spray primer.
I used Rust-Oleum Surface Primer (from Masters).
You don’t have to use a primer though it does provide the best base.

STEP 3 Apply three light coats of spray paint, allowing the paint to dry thoroughly between coats. If you’re particularly proper you can also lightly sand between coats though I didn’t bother so I guess I’m not particularly proper.
I used White Knight Squirts Enamel in Gloss Riverstone (from Mitre 10).
Try and use a decent quality paint. In some instances, where it doesn’t really effect the outcome, I’m more than happy to advocate the use of whatever, though in this case a good quality paint does seem to make a difference.
Here in Oz the colour range of off-the-shelf spray paints is pretty limited. Aside from speciality stores (which are scarce) I’ve found Masters to have an okay range though don’t discount graffiti artist and automotive aerosols too. If you’re still really struggling to find just the right shade you can always try a Preval spray can kit or have an automotive shop custom mix and can a colour for you (both kinda expensive options though do-able if you’re desperate). There is also the option of using a standard domestic spray gun though make sure you use a high quality paint and follow the recommended dilution ratio.

STEP 4 Finish by applying two coats of clear gloss spray sealer.
I used Cabots Cabothane Clear Oil Based Interior/Exterior in Gloss (from Mitre 10).
Not only does a clear top coat help create a lovely glossy sheen it also gives the piece a tough and hard-wearing exterior. Do keep in mind that over time most clear sealers will yellow slightly. This doesn’t bother me as my stool isn’t pure white and I’m not opposed to it gaining a bit more warmth though if you want to retain a crisp white finish try to track down and use a non-yellowing sealer.

Painted Ceramic Drum Stool Before and After

I’ve spray painted lots of small, ornamental ceramics before though never something large and functional. I mean, this thing was going to be sitting on the floor…in our living room. It would be at the mercy of Charlotte’s wayward glockenspiel mallets, Cooper’s clumsy paws, heavy-handed beer bottle set-downs and my not so un-aggressive vacuuming.

At first it seemed like blind optimism to think it’d hold up okay though now, three months on, I’m super pleased to say it still looks great and is completely scratch and chip free – yay!

How To Paint Ceramic...Drum Stool Transformation

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How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat From Scratch

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat From Scratch

One day I’m sure I’ll attempt a proper BIG upholstery project.

Ya know…an armchair, a settee, a sofa. I mean, really, with a piece of cheap second-hand furniture and some bargain fabric there’s really not too much to lose (possibly bar my sanity) though for now I find the idea kinda definitely daunting.

Proper BIG upholstery projects require certain traits and skills; patience, sewing, the proficient use of scissors and possibly even some mathematics (gulp – none of my strong suits).

So, whilst one day I’m sure I’ll attempt a proper BIG upholstery project, for now I’m happy sticking with the smaller, non-nervous break-down inducing variety…ottomans, benches, bed heads and dining chairs.

Over the past few years I’ve refurbished a small wedding party’s worth of dining chairs, most of them with drop-in seats, and whilst they can be a little fiddly they are by far one of the least complicated of all upholstery jobs – relatively fast, easy and budget-friendly, plus the results are always rewarding.

This tutorial details how to upholster a drop-in seat from scratch however if your seat base is still in good nic, you may simply need to recover one instead. If so, just follow my instructions beginning at step 7.

 

SUPPLIES…

How To Upholster a Slip Seat from Scratch Supplies

1 Chair with a drop-in seat.
Now, I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence, though just in case someone is unsure, a drop-in seat (also sometimes referred to as a slip seat or loose seat) is a fully insertable and removable seat frame which rests within (or is sometimes screwed into) a chair’s frame.
For this tutorial I used the style of chair I always thought was just a fantasy for me – a gorgeous faux bamboo Chippendale armchair (more details on my chair to follow in an upcoming post!).

2 Jute webbing (or similar).
I used 5cm (2″) wide webbing.

3 Small upholstery tacks.
I used 1cm (3/8″) long tacks.

4 Hessian (burlap) fabric.

5 Foam.
Use something relatively thick and reasonably dense.
I used 6cm (2″) thick high density foam.

6 Wadding (batting/dacron).

7 Cover fabric.
Of course you can use anything. The beauty of a drop-in seat is that it can be easily removed and re-covered, which is awesome if you ever want a fast, fresh change (or if one day your husband decides to spill an entire glass of green cordial on it!). So, there’s no real need to agonise over your initial fabric choice.  Thicker, fibrous fabrics with some stretch are easier to work with and more forgiving in terms of appearance though due to their bulk they can sometime be a little tricky to corner neatly.
I wanted a simple, natural look so I used a piece of inexpensive drop cloth.

8 Calico (muslin).

 

EQUIPMENT…

How To Upholster a Drop In Seat Equipment

1 Scissors.

2 Tack hammer.
You can use an ordinary hammer. A tack hammer just makes things a little easier.

3 Web strainer/stretcher (optional).
You can use your strength alone in lieu of a stretching tool though in my experience the webbing won’t be quite as taut (and you will most probably have sore hands and arms the next day!).

4 Staple gun.

5 Electric knife (optional).
You don’t have to have an electric knife though I’ve found it is by far the easiest way to cut foam.

 

PROCESS…

STEP 1 Remove your seat frame from the chair and, if necessary, completely strip any existing upholstery then place the seat frame right side up on a sturdy work surface.

STEP 2 Cut strips of jute webbing which are approximately 20cm (8″) longer than the widest part of your seat frame. The number of strips required will depend on the size of your frame. To determine how many strips of webbing you need it’s best to lay the strips over the frame in approximate position to gauge their coverage and placement. I used seven strips to cover mine (three horizontally, four vertically).

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat from Scratch

STEP 3 Take your first strip and position it with just the end on the seat frame and the excess to the side then hammer in three tacks (as shown). Fold the strip back over itself and secure it with a further three tacks (as shown).

How To Upholster a Slip Seat

STEP 4 Butt your strainer up against the adjacent side of the frame parallel with the tacked on strip, pull the strip across the frame and ‘fork’ it with the strainer prongs (as shown) then lever the strainer down, stretching the webbing so it is straight and very taut (as shown). It may take a few goes to get the webbing ‘forked’ at the right length so when you lever it down it’s not too tight or too loose. If you don’t have a web strainer you can simply pull the strip as hard as you can with your bare hands though in my experience the resulting webbing will not be as taut.

How To Upholster a Loose Seat Chair Pad

STEP 5 With the strainer still in place, hammer three tacks into the stretched webbing (as shown) then release the strainer, ‘unfork’ the webbing, and fold the strip back over itself and secure it with a further three tacks (as shown). Trim off any excess webbing.

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat

STEP 6 Repeat with your remaining strips until you have covered your entire seat frame (as shown).

STEP 7 Cut a piece of hessian (burlap) slightly larger than your seat, fold the raw edges under then staple it to the top of your frame (over the webbing).

STEP 8 Cut your foam so it is slightly larger than your chair frame (to do this, place the seat frame on top of the foam, trace an outline around it then cut it with an electric knife). Cut your wadding (batting/dacron) so it is just large enough to cover the foam then trim the corners off (too  much wadding can result in the sides of your seat being overly bulky which may prevent it from fitting neatly back inside your chair frame so do take care to ensure any excess wadding is removed). Cut your cover fabric so it is large enough to be easily wrapped all the way around the frame.

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat from Scratch

STEP 9 Iron any creases from your cover fabric then stack your layers on a flat, solid surface, right side down (as shown).

How To Upholster a Chair

STEP 10 Beginning at the top, wrap some fabric around the frame and secure it in the centre with a staple. Do the same with the bottom, pulling the fabric reasonably tightly so it is straight and taut. Finish by stapling the sides (so you have four staples in place – as shown).

STEP 11 Beginning with the top again, stretch some fabric evenly down and towards one corner (I find it works best to pull a large amount of fabric at once by gripping it between your palm and fingers rather than simply pinching a small amount between two fingers alone), then working from the centre out (in the direction of the corner you are pulling the fabric towards), staple it in place. Stop stapling around 10cm (3″) from the corner then repeat with the other side of the top until your fabric is secured across the entire width of the top (excepting the corners as mentioned). Continue with the bottom, then each side, until the fabric is attached to your whole frame (again, corners excepted). You may find you need to remove and reattach staples from time to time if your fabric appears too tight, loose or rippled. Occasionally look at the top side of your seat to ensure everything is neat, straight and firm. You may also need to thin some areas of wadding if it seems too thick.

STEP 12 The corners. Basically, there are three common corner finishes. Determining which one is right for your project will depend on a few factors (fabric weight, seat height, frame shape) along with your preference in terms of appearance.
I created a mock seat (with a foam off-cut and old chopping board!) to help demonstrate the pleated techniques as clearly as possible…

How to Upholster Chair Corners

This technique creates a smooth, rounded corner with two visible side pleats. It’s perhaps the most common corner finish amongst DIY’ers.

1 This photo shows the excess fabric at the corner. I don’t mind working with a reasonably substantial amount though you can trim some off if you think you have too much.

2 Pull the fabric from the centre of the corner diagonally across the seat base then staple it in place.

3 Fold in both sides of the remaining fabric to create two even pleats. Sometimes I like to use a blunt butterknife to push and smooth any loose or rippled fabric into the pleats.

4 Holding the pleats in position, staple them in place.

5 Trim off the excess fabric.

6 Inspect the top of your seat. Attach additional staples if any areas require tautening. You should have a nice, tidy visible butterfly pleat.

How to Upholster Seat Corners

This technique creates a neat, angular corner with one visible box-like pleat. It’s my preferred corner finish and the one I used for this project.

1 This photo shows the excess fabric at the corner. I don’t mind working with a reasonably substantial amount though you can trim some off if you think you have too much.

2 Flatten out one side of the fabric, then, in line with the seat frame, tuck under enough of the excess to create a neat, straight pleat on the seat’s base. Staple it in place.

3 Fold up the remaining fabric from the other side of the corner, again tucking under enough of the excess to keep it in line with the seat edge to create a neat, straight pleat on the seat’s side. Staple it in place. Sometimes I like to use a blunt butterknife to push and smooth any loose or rippled fabric into the pleats.

4 Inspect the top of your seat. Attach additional staples if any areas require tautening then trim off the excess fabric as required. You should have a nice, tidy visible tailored pleat.

How to Upholster Corners

This technique creates a flat, rounded corner with no (or very minimal) visible pleats. Whether or not you are able to achieve this type of finish will depend on the height of your seat (padding) and the amount of excess fabric you have at the corners. Some upholsterers consider this the ‘proper’ way to finish corners though I reckon whatever looks good is proper enough. To achieve pleat-free corners, whilst stapling the fabric to the frame, you need to stretch it as tightly as possible towards the corners. This results in less visible excess fabric at the corners which helps eliminate the need for gathering.

Note: Corners can be tricky little munchkins. In my experience, unless you’re pretty much a practised professional upholsterer, there’s no fail-proof process – they all seem to be a little different and just take patience and persistence. Some people might say I’m a tad fussy though each corner usually takes me a few minutes of confused fiddling to get ‘just right’. So take your time and try not to swear (or do swear if there are no little kids around and it will make you feel better :-) And remember, the entire base of the seat will be hidden from view along with part of the lower outer edge (which will be concealed by the cavity lip once it’s in the chair frame) so although you do want as neat a finish as possible some minor gathers towards the bottom of the seat are no real biggie (besides, have you ever looked at the base of a professionally upholstered chair? Chances are it wasn’t perfect).

How to Upholster a Drop-In Seat

STEP 13 Trim off any excess fabric then cut a piece of calico (muslin) so it is slightly larger than your frame, fold the raw edges under and affix it to the bottom of your seat with staples. This acts as a dust cover and provides a nice, neat finish.

STEP 14 Done! Insert your complete seat frame inside your chair then plant your caboose upon it!

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat from Scratch

A few things to note…
:: This tutorial details how to upholster a drop-in seat from scratch however if your seat base is still in good nic, you may simply need to recover it instead. If so, just follow my instructions beginning at step 7.
:: Some drop-in seats use a solid panel of ply (or similar) in lieu of webbing. This is fine though I find it’s not quite as cushy.
:: Before inserting your seat back inside your chair you may want to scotch guard the fabric first to help repel future stains.
:: If your seat is designed to be screwed into your chair take care during the upholstery process to keep the screw holes clear of fabric, tacks and staples – lord knows, I learned this one the hard way!

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PS I don’t mean to be stingy by not showing the finished chair in its entirety. My intention is to write a dedicated post about the chair makeover as a whole which I’ll try and publish some time next week…oh, and a tutorial for the simple faux grain-sack pillow you can glimpse in the photos too :-)

 

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover

I first, and last, shared a complete tour of my master bedroom waaaay back in 2010.

It was a time when I still ignored the kid’s department in Kmart, thought ‘twitter’ was simply the sound a bird made, could wear a white shirt and keep it clean all day long, and had no idea how to use my DSLR camera (not that I really know how to use it now)!

Anyhoo, since then my decorating tastes, and I’d like to think my photography skills too, have evolved somewhat so over the past few months I’ve been refreshing my bedroom and thought it was finally time I made the bed properly and shared it already!

As with most of the spaces in my home, small proportions and some funny angles make it a little tricky to capture with a camera though hopefully you’ll get the general gist :-)

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover

I know that to some people it’s mundanely practical and somewhat boring, though throughout my home I purposefully use a predominately neutral scheme and fairly timeless main pieces for a few reasons; one) to ensure I don’t tire of my surroundings too quickly, two) so things aren’t out-dated in five minutes, three) to make refreshing my spaces easy, fast and affordable – some different wall art, a throw pillow or two, fresh décor accents and a new occasional piece is sometimes all that’s needed to rejuvenate a room completely.

Well, my logic may just have worked in the master bedroom where I’ve created a renewed look with some extra depth and interest more in-keeping with my current eclectic(ish) farmhouse(y) style without touching the neutral canvas and main furnishings. I’ve simply added a distressed green bench seat, charcoal ticking sheets, some new décor accents and different wall art.

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover Before and After

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover Before and After

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover Before and After

When I originally posted about my bedroom a few years ago, the framed coloured maps (which are actually sheets of gift wrap) were a pretty popular feature, and whilst I did really like them, in the overall scheme of my bedroom, to me, they always seemed a little too competitive – I wanted my framed map of Paris to be the star and set the tone. So, whilst the map gallery would make a lovely feature elsewhere, for the bedroom I decided to switch it out for something more simple and subdued.

Card File Drawers, Fern Fronds and Glass Bottles

At the moment I’m kinda obsessed with indoor greenery. Ferns are my main weakness though I’m also loving the simplicity of cut fronds and foliage. For me their natural presence always imparts a fresh, homey feel, and plunged in water they can last for up to four weeks. Most people have free and easy access to at least one appropriate tree or shrub which also makes them obtainable and super thrifty!

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover

Along with the greenery I’ve also included more gold and brass accents to tie-in with my DIY headboardy-type thingo. And there are little clusters of vintage books and a smattering of glassware – two of my go-to décor elements…they just seem to work so well wherever they land!

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover Green Farmhouse Bench Seat

I know that to many people the changes may seem fairly insignificant, though the subtle updates have contented me (for now!).

I still have plans to add some new curtains (I’m thinking either something linen-y or green-ish) and perhaps in the future even a timber framed bed, though we’ll see.

If you’re after information on any of my bedroom sources or DIY projects check out the ‘At a Glance’ section below.

Hope you like my little updates :-)

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How To Keep a Rug in Place on Carpet

I should have titled this post “My Slightly (or not so slightly) Weird and/or Crazy Out of Desperation Experiment on How to Keep a (bleep-ing) Rug to Say In Place on Carpet” though that seemed a little excessive so for now I’ll stick to my neatly summarized one.

Anyhoo, I recently placed a jute area rug beneath the desk in our soon-to-be-complete home office to help define the space and add some natural texture.

How To Keep a Rug in Place on Carpet

Note: I have a new desk chair awaiting refurbishment and the one shown above is just temporary. It’s my great-grandmother’s old kitchen chair and to be honest I’m surprised I haven’t fallen through it yet!

The rug is layered over our carpet, which I thought would be fine in terms of movement given it’s anchored by two heavy cabinets, though between the cabinets where the desk chair sits (and is shuffled in and out daily at Guinness World Record rates) it still creeps uncontrollably on the carpet, causing it to shift and bunch with ease, which not only looks unsightly though, if I’m honest, also kinda makes me twitch.

I trialled a few of the conventional rug-on-carpet solutions to get it to stay put though nothing worked, so out of desperation I finally decided to try something a little more innovative (that is, as mentioned previously, possibly weird and/or crazy).

I purchased a sheet of thin MDF (I contemplated using something softer though decided I needed the rigidity, other alternatives were stiff rubber or thick cardstock though I figured I’d try MDF first), cut it with a jigsaw to fit snugly between the two cabinets and just short of the front edge of the rug, then slipped it underneath, butting it right up against the rear skirting board (so it basically takes up the entire square cavity space).

Stop a Rug from Moving on Carpet

I had no idea whether this would look strange, feel weird or even work, in fact based on my past failed attempts I was more than prepared for another strike-out, though to my surprise and relief it seemed to do the trick!

Far from looking strange, the MDF panel is actually completely concealed by the dense jute, and whilst there is a subtle hardness where it sits beneath the rug there’s certainly nothing weird about the feel of it at all (no different to having a rug over floorboards or tiles).

In terms of movement, having the MDF panel alone made a huge difference though for some added staying power I also used a few small strips of strategically placed strong adhesive velcro.

Keep Your Rug in Place on Carpet

Now, not only does the rug stay neatly in place – even with the desk chair being shimmied back and forth twenty million times a minute – though you would never even know the MDF panel was there (and my growing baby bulge is increasingly grateful for the cessation of all my previous stooping and straightening at ground level – hey, it’s a long way down when you’re at 32 weeks gestation!).

Granted, this kind of solution is not really suitable for all rug-on-carpet scenarios though if you have a situation similar to mine it might just be the answer for you!

Oh, and about the home office reveal…I just have one more DIY project to complete then I’ll finally be sharing it – promise! Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when after a six month lead-up it leaves you feeling a little underwhelmed :-)

And oh, just in case you’re wondering, the rug is from Floorspace. It needed to be a pretty specific size and unfortunately I couldn’t find anything ‘off-the-shelf’ though to save on the usually extravagant cost of anything bespoke I arranged to have it custom-made from an old off-cut they already had.