Sorry for the lull around here! We’ve all been fighting off terrible colds and crossing our fingers that the flu doesn’t arrive at our doorstep – but it feels as though it might. We’ve all been a bit down lately.
I did get an awesome project finished before the horrible sniffles and headaches hit though, and I can’t wait to share with you. AND found a great Craigslist breakfast nook table that fits the spot really well!
There she is! A newly tufted back to the breakfast nook bench seat. It makes a world of a difference.
Previously the space felt bare and the cushions weren’t substantial enough to make a big impact.
Now the bench feels a little more permanent (even though we assembled all of the pieces so that it can move about the kitchen, backing and all) and it really fills up the space well!
Love the detail and the deep tufts, more on DIYing this project very soon.
But that’s not the only breakfast nook update… I found a Craigslist table and a thrift store chair to match:
Initially I was on the hunt for a table in a contrasting color – perhaps something dark or something that I could paint a bold ‘pop’ of color. But finding a table that was neither too small, too big or too expensive was a challenge. So when this bad boy came up in my Craigslist search, I jumped on the chance to check it out. Turns out it matches the cabinetry almost perfectly and is just the right size.
I’ve played with the idea of painting it because I’m not too crazy matching sets (see how the table looks like it almost belongs to the bench seats?), but it’s in such great shape that that decision can sit on the back burner for a little while.
I also played a bit with making my own table – that is, hunting down a neat pedestal and then getting a little creative with the top. Ahh well, sometimes these things fall in your lap and you take ‘em and run!
The first chair I spotted for this table was actually a bentwood from a thrift store that salvages pieces from the local junk yard. It’s in pretty bad shape and I scored it for $1. Then I found this matching guy at a local furniture consignment shop for $19:
The $1 version needs some love before she’s allowed inside. But hopefully a pair of chairs is in this table’s immediate future.
And hopefully some artwork, too! Thank you, thank you for all of your excellent suggestions on how to temporarily cover up that plywood window we’re hiding until summer, and as you can tell from my photos I’m on to an idea… as oversized as it may be at the moment.
Still loving my new tufting! My favorite upholstery project to date.
This bench area is now a great spot to snuggle up in while reading the morning paper or to enjoy a quick bowl of oatmeal before the day starts. The thick, soft backing is just what this space needed.
Working on pulling all of the images together now for a little DIY post on how I made the stand alone bench back (it’s not connected to the actual benches) and finished the tufting.
More to come.
Hope your home is staying sick-free and keep us in your no-flu thoughts! We are all hanging on…
Also, a big thank you to iVillage for featuring the dipped play table legs project in Liv’s room in their 2013 trends to watch!
Tags: Breakfast Nook, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Kitchen, Patterns & Color, Yellow
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
I’ve been anxiously waiting to catch you all up on my breakfast nook project, but I’ve reached a bit of a design dilemma and I thought I’d share what’s going through my mind right now.
I’ve moved the bench seat from the edge of the island:
To this blank wall. We’ll call it the problem wall.
This particular wall used to be the dividing line between what was (way before us) a bedroom and an entry room (at least that’s our suspicion…). It had an unusually placed window just to the right of the side door that makes us wonder if a mudroom existed here before (and a slight buckling in the wall where there may have been another wall that jutted out of it?). The wall was gone before we moved in and a den was in its place.
During our kitchen transformation, this small little window broke and was quickly boarded up and left for a future project. The plan is to either A. replace it, B. use glass block to fill it in, or C. make it disappear altogether as a solid wall. The last is my vote, but Kevin is not 100% convinced on which he loves best. So it sits now as a piece of plywood in the kitchen. We finally painted it to match the walls (though it doesn’t blend much…) and avoid photographing it altogether . When we have guests over, sometimes I hang a piece of art right up over it.
The ultimate goal is to integrate that space back into the house, and even if we wait on the to-close-or-not-to-close decision for a while, I’d like to come up with a solution to hide the eye sore in the interim.
I had this space in mind too for the kitchen breakfast nook and I thought it might work well if the end of counter idea (see top pic) didn’t. And the bench? The perfect size!
Now just picture a round little table and two chairs in front of it.
I love that the colors tie in so well with the artwork.
But back to that dilemma, because the plywood ‘pin board’ is a big eye sore.
I have a couple of ideas…
The first one that I imagined as perfect for the space was to find a cool old mirror and convert it into a chalkboard, like this:
How beautiful! Image from here.
But I searched and searched and had the hardest time tracking down a large enough ornate mirror. See, to both cover up that plywood (temporarily, of course) and look somewhat natural on the wall, I needed a piece that is roughly 44″ tall and 40″ wide (big and tough to find).
Still on the hunt for an ornate mirror, but I suppose option two would be to hang a regular square chalkboard that might look something like this:
I could build my own or find a large frame and then turn it into a chalkboard.
Image sources for all of these ideas can be found over on my kitchen Pinterest board (Pinterest is where I was lucky enough to track most of them down!)
If I build my own frame… perhaps a chunky reclaimed wood look?
Love the look of wood and chalkboard… though gold is high up there as well!
And I’d have to make it magnetic, just like Christina did:
Part of me is secretly wondering though if a command station so front and center as you walk into the kitchen is the right idea? Do I want lists and ticket stubs and reminders so evidently visible? Could I keep this space visually clean?
That wall above is just to the left of the island below. I’m standing in front of it while snapping this picture:
If I could and was willing to make that promise to myself, why not a cool fabric pinboard?
Picture this coral in a square frame and Liv’s art hung up in a semi-organized fashion:
Or perhaps I nix the command station idea and hang just a stunning piece of framed fabric (from a vintage scarf, tablecloth, remnant piece…):
Maybe a framed picture? Painting? Map? What would not look out of place in a kitchen/dining space? See how difficult I’ve let this one become?
PS You can find all of the kitchen renovation stories here.
Tags: Accessories, Breakfast Nook, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Kitchen, Yellow
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 8 Comments »
Happy Thanksgiving week! We are up to our ears in holiday events, projects, work stuff and family (always, always awesome) and I’ve discovered (I am a late, late comer) the most amazing tool to document all of the holiday-wonderfulness that is happening at the moment! What have I been missing out on all of these months without Instagram? Count me in as an immediate fan. Lately I’ve been posting on projects-in-progress, Liv-isms, travel adventure updates and sweet Sunday mornings with the family.
You can meet me over there by searching for ‘morganspenla’ (I know it’s not so original when it comes to Instagram names… I’ll try to be clever next time. but you’ll know it’s me when you find me because there’s none other ). Really, there isn’t. There are perhaps 20 Spenlas on the entire planet and likely you are related to us if you are one of them (don’t be confused by the alternative sugar substitute, most telemarketers and grocery clerks are. But it’s all good.).
The true purpose for the post today is to share the progress on our kitchen nook. The cushions are finished and are in place! And the bench functions as a real bench! It’s wonderful, it’s the bench that this kitchen has always needed.
Last I left you, we had purchased over-the-fridge cabinets from Lowe’s (because of their unique height and width) and had added legs to prop them up off of the ground.
I specifically chose a yellow for this space to help cheer up the empty color zone between the dark floors and the grey quartz countertops. The yellow up close is a great mustard that is not quite too bright but happy enough to make you smile when you walk into the room.
Here is the link online over at Calico Corners (who teamed up with me on this project, I’ll be sharing the full, finished breakfast nook next month ish on their blog as well once the tables, chairs, etc are in place! I’m assuming it will take me a bit to hunt every little piece down… ).
I really labored over the type of fabric to use here… everything in my gut insisted on an outdoor, easily wipe-upable canvas fabric that would repel any future kid (or adult) stains. But I couldn’t find anything that I loved, and I looked and looked and looked for a long while. When I came across this Vintage Blossom print I immediately fell for how it would tie in so well with the rest of the kitchen and how it would also function as a ‘base’ for additional patterns in the form of pillows and chair cushions. The colors are simple – mustard, brown (which is also prevalent in the bar stool cushions) and white.
The colors also tie in nicely with the existing calendar artwork.
But rest assured it will get a healthy coating of a stain repellent spray like Scotchguard.
The lumbar throw pillow with the fun zig zag print is by Etsy artist PillowMio and the dandylion print by MyModernHome. I purchase most of my inserts at West Elm because of how deliciously cozy and reasonably priced they are.
The photos are one step too close to washed out, but it’s hard to capture that light through the doors in contrast with the dark floors, which pulls everything down.
My inspiration for the style of cushion was to use a settee pattern, kind of like this one:
Or this one from Joss & Main (which I considered purchasing when it was up for a steal of a price before this all started, but the seat depth on a traditional settee is too overwhelming for our kitchen).
I used this pattern in reverse so that if I were to separate out the two benches, the tops would come with easily. The ‘topper’ is one long piece that can also be used as a bench back. Thinking out of the box here . I need to add more padding though, now that I’m looking at all of these photos.
Here’s a shot of what I mean about separating out those two bench pieces:
Here’s the opposite end of the island, and see how these benches might be used for extra seating when we have the big french doors wide open and guests are mingling about (with a glass of wine and hor d’oeuvres?) from deck to kitchen? Ah, lovely.
In fact, I may not even keep the bench where it is now. It might find its way over to the wall to the left of the doors and kitchen where there is currently a rather large gap of space.
The plywood hides the remnants of an old window from the previous layout of the den. I currently hide it with canvas art or by covering it with pinned up finger paintings by Liv and what have you, but here is the eyesore in all of its glory. I suppose it does function as a key holder. There is its purpose in life.
When it came to the cushions themselves, I left it to the pros. I gave my amazing dry cleaning lady – my secret weapon – (who made these awesome slip covers for my nursery rocker) the dimensions of the cabinets and future cushions, the roll of Vintage Blossom fabric (purposefully adding enough for welting, which she added for $5 per cushion), and invisible zipper material for all. I believe the entire sewing portion ran me about $20 for each full cushion.
I could have attempted it but the quality and price of outsourcing this project was absolutely worth it! With that much less of a chance of me and the sewing machine getting into a fight over box cushions (perhaps I will one day learn).
We are that much closer to finishing up the entirety of this kitchen!
Still left? A table, chairs (bistro? bentwood?), a neat piece of art for to cover up my one-day-we’ll-fix-it window, and few additional molding touch ups. Perhaps a big pendant to go over future table? Happy Monday!
Tags: Accessories, Breakfast Nook, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, Fabric, Home, Kitchen, Yellow
Posted in Favorite Fabric, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 13 Comments »