A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Before & After: Coffee Table to Ottoman

Update: I finally made my own ottoman out of a coffee table and you can read all about it over here, feel free to check it out for even more tips and tricks.

Here’s a little project from Little Green Notebook that I’ve been so anxious to try. Jenny has transformed an everyday, unexciting coffee table into a beautifully cushioned ottoman!

After falling in love with the above Restoration Hardware design (that came with a hefty $1200 price tag), Jenny refashioned a Craigslist find into the perfect replication (for $60!):

In a very simple wrap-up, Jenny (1) painted the legs, drilled holes for her tufted buttons, (2) added foam padding to the top and sides, (3&4) covered the table in batting and then her light blue fabric, used a button kit from JoAnns for the buttons (attaching to table through drilled holes with an upholstery needle and thread), (5) folded the fabric under the table and tacked around corners, and (6) finished off the edges with upholstery nails. Whew!

For the entire scoop (with great suggestions for tackling on your own), check out the full post here.

I’m amazed and completely inspired to take on my own coffee table refashion for an ottoman in the living room, or perhaps by the foot of the bed, or maybe in the dining room for extra bench seating? Too many options.

Sledge Hammer Stories Part 3: A New Backyard

If you remember way back to when I first introduced our little ole’ outdoor room (aka backyard) to everyone earlier this year, you might recall how much work we had to do to get to this:

Here’s a quick link to Part 1 & Part 2.

Our *dream* backyard included an outdoor grilling area, fireplace and big comfy sectional. Evenings of smores & stargazing, afternoons of hamburgers & cold beer – who could ask for anything more?

Here’s the backyard mid-project:

I couldn’t be more proud of my handy husband who I’m pretty sure knows how to fix anything and everything known to man. So… weekends of pulling up brick, tearing down walls and much MUCH cement, stucco, and tile later… here she is!

This DIY project was a monster – but isn’t it beautiful! We opted for a shade sail for added coverage (a throw back to our love of sailing) and it was an economical option when we found one on ebay for less than $50. The grill and ice bin were Craiglist finds, and the sectional was my hybrid Pottery Barn & DIY project (follow the jump for more on that).

Can you believe this used to be a carpeted, walled-in room?

To keep the outdoor kitchen within budget, we used our favorite site Craigslist and Home Depot coupons for everything from cement block to grout to our counter top tile.

While Kevin took on the bulk of the redesign, my big project was the future seating area. I fell in love with a Pottery Barn sectional (see above inspiration board) and thought that surely I could replicate the find on a local, more inexpensive level. After searching every store here in the area (including the plethora of online options!) I came up with a hybrid solution that involved sewing, stuffing and Sunbrella galore.

For the cushion DIY project, Continue reading

Friday Guest Blog Interview: Second City Soiree!

Today’s Friday Guest Blog interview brings us to the heart of Chicago – and over to the blog of a delightful hostess who shares her favorite tips, tricks and etiquette know-how on a daily basis at Second City Soiree. As an event coordinator with some of Chicago’s major venues, Jen artfully intertwines the expertise of hostessing large celebrations with her love of smaller events at home.

SecondCitySoiree.com was founded in 2008 by Jennifer, a Chicago native who considers the seemingly simple task of “having people over” a fine art (that can be fun, engaging and creative!).

Whether you’re hosting a party, dinner, luncheon, shin-dig, shower, barbecue, tête-à-tête, fiesta, or yes – even a soirée – you’ll find helpful ideas and tid-bits to pull off the perfect event. One of my favorites: how-to videos that share delicious cocktail recipes and even a helpful reminder on how to properly set a place setting (does the bread plate go on the left or right side…)

When not writing and researching for Second City Soiree, Jen authors lifestyle articles for the popular Chicagonista site, a series on Gals’ Guide called First Time Hostess, and features on luxury goods and services for Simply Magnificent – the blog of the Ritz-Carlton Residences on Michigan Avenue.

One of my favorite SCS tablesettings:

Up next, Jen’s clever answers to PDB’s four interview q’s, including three party killer don’ts, the elements to planning your own soiree (and where you can and can’t cut costs) as well as secrets to where Jen finds her SCS inspiration! Continue reading

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