How to Turn Director’s Chairs into Stools

Thank you all so much for the amazing response to my brother’s bedroom reveal. I was incredibly flattered by all the lovely comments.

There were many mentions of the end-of-bed stools which I created from two old director’s chairs.

Bedroom Makeover After

It was a really easy and affordable project and they add so much warmth and character to the space.

Here’s how I did it…

 

STEP 1 | SOURCING

Of course the first thing I needed to do was source some inexpensive second-hand director’s chairs.

The most common style have vertical supports at each corner, like this…

Common Directors Chair

But some have a simple cross base, like this…

Cross Base Directors Chair

I was open to the idea of using the more common style if needed, but I didn’t really want the vertical supports. I was pretty certain it would be okay to remove them and that the stools would still be sturdy, but as I didn’t use them for this project I can’t really say for sure.

After a little bit of hunting I was lucky to come across this pair with simple cross bases on Marketplace for just $20.

Chairs Before

STEP 2 | DISASSEMBLING

Because these stools are designed to fold flat, the top section was merely attached with hinges so removing it was a simple matter of undoing some screws.

Directors Chair Hack

Stool

Next I removed the old seat fabric to be left with a naked frame.

Stool Frame

Now, in hindsight I didn’t need to do this next bit. You see my original plan was to combine the stools into a campaign style bed I could use as a bench, kinda like this…

Campaign Bed

So I trimmed off the horizontal dowels because they looked too busy.

Director Chair Hack

But, after playing around with some visual ideas for the bench, I decided I didn’t like the scale of it so scratched that plan. Which left me with the two stools which would have been fine with the dowels still intact. But, oh well. Thankfully removing them didn’t effect the stability of the stools.

STEP 3 | REFINISHING

There were quite a few knocks and dents in the timber, even some minor breaks, so I was never going to make things look brand new. Lucky I like a bit of vintage charm.

All I did was fill a few holes with wood putty (including the ends of the slots where the original fabric was embedded) then lightly sand and thoroughly clean the timber before sealing with some linseed oil lightly tinted with oak stain.

Sanding

Tinted oils are great when you can’t be bothered going right back to raw timber but still want to nourish and slightly deepen the wood.

Oiling the Timber

I contemplated leaving the rusty steel brackets as is, but in the end I felt they were a little too patchy so decided to paint them bronze.

The paint will likely scratch off if the stools are folded but there’s no real need for that given they’re being used as fixed items of furniture. Plus, it’s an easy touch-up job.

STEP 4 | UPHOLSTERING

This was super easy.

I used a suede style faux leather which doesn’t fray so no sewing was needed! I bought the fabric from Spotlight several months back. Sorry, I can’t recall what it was called but from memory it was around $12 per meter.

Rather than upholster the stools in the same manner they were originally (where the fabric was embedded into the slots), I decided I wanted to wrap my fabric right around. Not only was this easier but there were some obvious breaks in the wood around the slots so this would ensure they were covered.

All I did was trim my fabric to size, position it on the stool (folding the long sides under to conceal the raw edge), then staple it to the underside.

Directors Chair Hack

Rather than make it super taut I gave it a bit of a slouch for a relaxed look.

Of course, you need to be mindful of the weight of your fabric, using something quite strong and rigid, as anything too thin or stretchy could easily sag or tear. If you’re worried you could always attach some webbing to the base first, like this…

Webbing

Or you can reinforce your fabric with a backing.

In addition to, or as a substitute for, the staples you could use upholstery tacks. This would definitely be a good idea if your point of attachment is somewhat visible as exposed staples don’t look the greatest.

And it was as easy as that!

 

DONE!

Blog Stools

Chairs Before

As you can see the timber is still quite “rustic” with lots of  tonal variation and imperfections, but as I mentioned earlier that’s not something which bothers me. In fact, it’s often something I deliberately incorporate to add character and interest to a room.

Masculine Bedroom Refresh

Feel free to shoot through any comments or questions.

 

Signature

Director Chair to Stool Hack Before and After

 

Masculine Master Bedroom Makeover Reveal

Thank you so much for the warm welcome back! I was honestly unsure if anyone would still be following along, so it was such a lovely surprise to see all the comments roll in. I really missed you guys!

As promised I’m back to share the reveal of my brother’s bedroom.

Here are the before shots…

Before

Before

Before

Before we could get to the fun bit of decorating, we needed to create a nice blank canvas to work with.

Several months back, before the latest lock-down began, my brother replaced the stained carpet and painted everything white for a clean fresh feel. He also removed the random wall mirror and took down the old broken ceiling fan (this will eventually be replaced with a sleeker black fan).

So, here’s the space now…

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

Bedroom Makeover

Masculine Bedroom Refresh

Before you say anything, yes, I realise the wall lamps are a tad intense for this small space.

Slightly more petite versions would have been ideal, but for under $5 each I wasn’t going to complain! Plus they will come in handy if my brother ever needs to host a stage show.

Plug In Wall Lamps

Because I got them on clearance I can’t find a link to share, but if anyone is looking for some, they are the Verve Tori Wall Light (from Bunnings). If you’re quick there might still be a few left at some stores.

Light Before

I contemplated painting them (maybe white or gold – brass ones would have been lovely), but as the room came together I decided they were fine as is. Their boldness certainly provides impact, and their sculptural quality lends interest which helps belie the typicality of the room. Of course I’ve used soft warm bulbs so the lighting itself isn’t too severe (so perhaps my brother will need to increase the wattage for any stage shows – and yes, the bulbs cost more than the lights themselves!).

Bedroom Makeover After

I know not everyone will like the fact we painted the wood panelling. Although I never hated it, and do love the earthy warmth timber can lend to a space (especially a masculine one), given the lack of light in the room it just felt a bit dark and gloomy.

Bedroom Makeover

Having all the walls one light consistent colour helps make the room feel more spacious and cohesive. If anyone is interested the colour is Antique White USA by Dulux.

The original bed was actually one I picked up for free a few years back when I was staging my friend’s house for sale (you can see it HERE). It was always a bit rickety and after several failed attempts to repair it my brother decided he wanted something new.

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

In order to be able to build the room around the bed, we went for something quite understated in this $220 charcoal upholstered bed from eBay.

Masculine Budget Bedroom Makeover

The bedside tables also came from eBay and were less than $100 each.

Bedside Table

I contemplated keeping and upcycling the original bedsides, which would have been totally fine, but these new ones are just that bit more ideal.

When it comes to decorating, in general I probably agonise most over choosing wall art – there are just sooooo many options! But I surprised myself this time around by being super decisive and selecting one of the first images I came across.

DIY Owl Art

This barn owl was originally a free downloadable photograph from Unsplash.

Barn Owl

‘Barn owl hovering before diving to catch prey’ by Bob Brewer.

I edited the colours and applied a digital effect to make it look like a painting before having it printed onto peel-and-stick canvas wallpaper by AJ Wallpaper.

Here’s a close-up section which shows the detail a bit better…

Owl Artwork

I’ve used AJ Wallpaper a few times in the past and always find them really helpful and prompt, plus their products and services are amongst the most affordable I’ve found.

As per usual I didn’t document the framing process (one of these days I will publish a thorough tutorial on how I generally frame wallpaper art), but it was super easy and cost less than $40. Essentially I cut a sheet of 6mm/.02″ MDF to size, bordered the back with some deeper MDF planks to give it stability, attached the wallpaper to the front, then boxed everything out with some mitred timber trim. I realise things sound a bit complicated when the steps are summarised so bluntly so feel free to ask if you want clarification.

DIY Owl Canvas Artwork

If anyone is interested I’m open to sharing my edited owl image as a free download in an upcoming post. Maybe that will give me a good excuse to finally get onto that framing tutorial!

The end-of-bed stools are one of my favourite elements!

DIY Military Stools

I think they just add so much character and interest.

I’ve loved the look of folding military style furniture for ages, especially when used in a masculine room. And this was finally my chance!

I shopped around for quite a while for something that could work, exploring lots of different options. I was also always open to the idea of building something from scratch if needed, but then I came across two old directors chairs on Marketplace for just $20.

They were perfect!

Chairs Before

I will publish a dedicated post about the full transformation process (because I actually managed to take progress photos for the most part!) but as I’m sure you can gather it wasn’t a difficult project.

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

I think many of you will recognise the floor rug from some of my past projects.

Rug

It was originally purchased from Spotlight a few years back to stage my friend’s house for sale. Since then it’s been deployed on several different missions (including being stored atop my brother’s Torana for over a year!) but has always held-up amazingly well. It actually still looks and feels brand new! Such an awesome and versatile piece.

Bedroom Makeover After

I kept the bedding quite simple in order to showcase the two jute kilim cushions I found on eBay for just $30 each.

Kilim Cushions

They are quite possibly my most favourite cushions ever!

Originally I had both of them orientated the same way (as they are identical) though decided to switch things up by turning one sideways. Does it make you twitch? Or do you like the slight quirkiness?

I’ve teamed them with some basic striped cushions ($12 each from H&M a few months ago) and a faux leather one ($8 from Kmart several years back).

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

In-keeping with the subtle military vibe I’ve used a wool army blanket (originally from eBay many moons ago). This ties-in well with the kilim cushions and also works to add some tonal depth to the foot of the bed in order to somewhat balance the dark headboard and artwork.

Throw Blankets

I’ve layered it with a new boucle style throw (from Spotlight) which adds a nice hit of softness.

Masculine Bedroom

The decor items are just bits and pieces I already owned, mostly thrifted.

So, here are the side-by-side before and afters…

Before

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

Before

Masculine Bedroom After

Before

Bedroom Makeover

I brought the room together over a few days and it’s fair to say my brother was skeptical until everything was in place. And I don’t blame him because, to be honest, I was a little unsure myself. It’s easy to feel doubtful about a space whilst it’s still in progress. Sometimes pieces don’t seem to work together or the balance and scale can look off. More often than not it’s the final touches which make sense of everything.

Hope you guys like it.

 

Signature

 

 

 

I’m Back…plus a new room makeover!

Why, hello there!

Remember me? Apparently I’m the person who’s supposed to update this here blog on a semi-regular basis.

Turns out I’m not that good at it.

But I think we all knew that.

I never planned to disappear for four months (and I’m sorry for my unexplained absence – thanks so much to everyone who reached out). But I guess lock-downs can do that.

With stores shut and house calls off limits, it’s fair to say that I just kinda gave up…on blog projects that is. During our previous lock-downs I was able to summon the motivation to keep creating despite the obstacles, but this time around it just felt all too hard.

Not that I’m whining. Life in general went on of course, with its usual spattering of both good and bad days. We went on long walks and had early dinners, watched late night movies and slept in, cried about math being too hard and our house being too small. But overall we remembered to be grateful.

Although projects were always whirring around in my head, I just didn’t have the inclination to put them in my hands…until now!

With the lock-down having lifted, life is almost back to normal. And top of my list is helping my brother with the bedroom makeover he requested back in June!

Here’s his space before…

Before

Before

Before

Pretty sure I can’t make it look much worse.

And here are a few of the pieces I’m working with…

Some $4.78 wall lights!…

Light Before

You might remember that I used one of these lights in a client’s living room earlier this year. But I bought it at full price back then. $4.78 is just insane!

These vintage director’s chairs I picked up for $20 from Marketplace…

Chairs Before

And these bedside tables from eBay

Bedside Table

 

I actually started this room refresh last week and will be able to post the result in the coming days! Very excited to be creating (and sharing) again.

Thanks so much to everyone who is still here.

Now just to remember where that ‘publish’ button is…

Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Easy No-Wire Wall Lights

No Wire Wall Light

If you’re anything like me, then chasing simple and affordable lighting solutions is probably something you spend way too much time doing (I think some of my past lighting posts can attest to that).

But I’m not just talking about inexpensive DIY plug-in fixtures (which, let’s face it, are very limited anyway) or make-do hacks, I’m talking about real wire-less options.

Something that gives us the flexibility to treat light fixtures like any regular item of decor, providing the avenue to move them around or switch them out with ease.

I’m sure many of us are familiar with the puck light hack (where a battery operated bulb is used in place of a regular bulb), but recently I happened to come across a range of purpose wire-less products which make things even easier!

No Wire Wall Light

Nunu Lighting offers a selection of light fixtures and accessories which are completely wire-free. And not only that, they have also been designed for quick and easy mounting with limited impact on walls and ceilings.

Most of their products are designed to be used with purpose battery operated bulbs (which they are sold with), but some also have in-built rechargeable lithium packs which enables them to be used with regular bulbs!

The ones I bought have the lithium packs. To charge, all you do is plug the cable into a little port on the underside of the base.

Charging the Light

Yes, clearly this is me demonstrating whilst the light isn’t attached to the wall. Obviously you wouldn’t want to have to recharge a fixture which is positioned in an awkward spot, but anything within arms reach would be fine and dandy.

Like I mentioned, not all of their lights have the lithium packs, in which case you would use the battery operated bulbs they provide. These are available in two different sizes and are similar in appearance to regular puck lights, with the exception of having an attached E26 fitting so they can be screwed straight into the fixture!

Screw In Puck Light Bulbs

Normal puck lights have a flat base which means they can’t be easily attached. You either have to glue, tape or wire them into position.

You can operate the bulbs manually by pressing on the cover, or, even better, you can use a remote control to switch them on and off from anywhere in the room.

I was going to mount one or two of these sconces above the open shelves in the suite extension kitchenette, but in the end I felt they weren’t needed there. So now I can use them randomly wherever I feel a light would look cool! This one hangs above a little shelf in my parent’s kitchen.

Wireless Wall Light

To me, it’s just like another item of decor working to add interest and charm to the overall vignette.

Of course, most rooms should still have some form of practical hard-wired lighting, and I wouldn’t recommend using these in a situation where constant or frequent light is required. The life of the battery operated bulbs isn’t the greatest so they’re best reserved for accent lighting. But, like I touched on before, they’re also good if you simply like the idea of using a fixture more-so for its aesthetic value. And I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

 

In other news, there’s been more progress in the suite extension which I can’t wait to share soon!

 

Signature

 

 

 

 

“Vintage” Door Makeover…with DIY Gold Foil Decal

Vintage Style Door Makeover

Bet you thought I’d totally forgotten all about my parent’s suite extension?

Well, whilst I can’t say it ever left my thoughts entirely, over the past six months it certainly managed to get buried in the depths of my mind.

But, now that things have finally begun to settle down a bit, it’s time to address some of the unfinished aspects of that space.

Starting with the entry door!

In order to provide privacy and a sense of separation for the suite, adding a door at the top of the stairs was always a priority. In addition, it can be closed when the suite isn’t being used to help with climate control in the main part of the house.

Here’s the door my mum chose many, many months back…

Door Before

As you can see, it’s nice and basic, with a timber frame and single frosted glass panel.

When it was originally purchased, we weren’t sure what the end goal was exactly. Paint? Stain? Dress it up? Keep it simple?

But mum kept coming back to the idea of adding some trim to turn it into a three lite door, so we eventually decided to start with that.

Attaching Trim to the Door

Yes, you can buy three lite doors like this off-the-shelf, and we could have purchased one instead, but at the time we were looking, the price difference was pretty extreme. From memory the three lite option was around $200 more than the single panel option!

All we did was trim some 12mm/.04″ MDF to size, then attach it to the glass with clear silicone. Of course, we did both sides of the door.

Using MDF meant we then needed to paint the door, but that was my secret preference from the start anyway! We already had plenty of timber in the space with the flooring, bathroom vanity, porch doors and some of the furniture, so painting the door was a nice way to break things up by introducing some impact and contrast.

And what colour works better for that than black?

Vintage Door Decal Makeover

We simply used some satin black exterior paint we had left-over from a past project, applied by hand with a brush.

And as you can see, I also added a typographic decal!

DIY Decal

This was just for a bit of fun and whimsy, and can be easily removed or changed at any time. But I so love the way it turned out!

A few weeks ago I was lucky to get my hands on a Cricut Maker!  I’ve wanted one of these machines for years and years, so it was pretty exciting!

Cricut Maker

In the past I’ve had to out-source my decal cutting needs by engaging sellers on sites such as Etsy, and whilst it’s lovely being able to support small businesses, as a creative I’ve always yearned to own the entire process.

I designed the graphic in Cricut Design Space which is purpose companion software devised to make things easy. I always dread having to learn how to use new design programs but this was super intuitive and simple to get the hang of – in all honestly, my biggest obstacle was my own style indecision!

Cricut Design

At first I was going to design something very simple, but once I started playing around with ideas I may have gotten a little bit carried away!

“The Canopy” is just something which popped into my head given the suite sits at the top of my parent’s house, and the fact that it has sweeping views of the surrounding treetops. I added the elevation of the property to solidify the canopy reference, along with gumleaf wreaths which also lend a touch of pretty. The general idea was to give the door a sense of having been salvaged from a vintage building, so the Bed & Breakfast inclusion offers that business-ish note.

Yes, it’s all a bit cheesy, but hey, I’m alright with that.

There are millions of Cricut decal tutorials out there from people waaaaay more accomplished than me, so I’m not sharing the full-how to in this post, but feel free to let me know if you’d like more info. What I will say is that it’s in no way hard, however it is a little fiddly. But apparently the foil material I chose to use is one of the trickiest to work with!

Gold Foil Door Decal

DIY Door Decal

I love the way the gold foil works to reference the brass door handle and off-set the black.

Vintage Style Door Makeover

I was a little bit worried that it might not look great from the rear due to the frosted glass, but it’s totally fine.

Door Decal

It’s just a muted (and mirrored) version of the front, which actually has its own charm.

So, here’s to one more project crossed off the list!

Before

During

After

 

Signature

 

Door Makeover Before and After