2014: A Year in Review

Can you believe it’s 2015?! Last year just FLEW by, but when I go back and review all the posts from 2014, it really is amazing how much happened. Thanks to all of you who have stuck around and continue to offer your advice and words of encouragement – I love you all!

I’ll create a to-do list for 2015 tomorrow, but first let’s take a look back of some of the best posts of 2014:

DSC00473Most popular post: A step-by-step look at how to turn an IKEA Ribba frame into a bar tray garnered the most clicks this year – and it was even picked up by IKEA Hackers!

Most commented on post: Remember when y’all helped me pick out a new living room rug? Great job, by the way.

DSC01014Best before/after: I’m so happy I finally bit the bullet and gave my living room a navy accent wall like the ones I’d been admiring on Pinterest forever. Will I regret it when I move out and have to paint it back white? Only time will tell…

Still on my wish list: This may just be the year that I tackle my first upholstery project, so I better pick up “Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design” to prepare.

11Best trip: Sometimes the best trips are the ones that are last minute and random and cheap – that happened to be Kansas City for me this year.

Best purchase: I know this is a home design blog, but this Kipling tote has been a godsend this past year. The blogging fashionistas of the world certainly don’t have anything to worry about, but I know a good bag when I see one.

friendsgivingBest party: I finally pulled off a Friendsgiving this year! The place looked great, and I hope it’ll mark the begin of many dinner parties to come. I love hosting.

Greatest accomplishment: I trained and ran a friggin’ marathon. 26.2 miles. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever say that. Hell, I could barely run the 5 miles during soccer two-a-days in high school! It felt amazing.

DSC00683Best recipe: I just made this Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix for a New Year’s Eve party… so, so good – and ridiculously easy!

I Want That Wednesday

With all this time forcibly spent indoors (thanks, Mother Nature!), I’m really itching for a project. I even saw a great little cane chair in the alley last week, but unfortunately (or fortunately, maybe) it’s leg was broken. If the skeleton was in better shape, it would’ve made the perfect reupholstery project.

Not that I would have any idea what I was doing, of course.

Luckily there’s brilliant little book out there like this one for people like me:Spruce-Book-440x600OK, so at 400 pages maybe it isn’t little per se. Page-4-5_goodSpruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design is written by Amanda Brown of Spruce, an upholstery shop in Austin. It’s packed with instructions for upholstering just about any shape and size piece, and it also gives advice on replacing the guts—the springs, padding, webbing and the like. 328-329_good1Isn’t it beautiful? I’m dying to get my hands on a copy—not that it’s hard to find, I’m just trying to save money and thus am waiting my turn for Chicago Public Library’s copy. (You can find it here and here, and probably your neighborhood bookstore, too.)378-379_goodYou can learn more about Amanda, Spruce and the book by watching the trailer!

Before and after: Rusty bench

It was over six months ago that I discussed plans for the little bench I stole from under the stairs at my old apartment. Remember?

Well, I’ve been meaning to update y’all on the progress of this little project for some time now, but I was bummed because the in-progress pictures were stolen along with my laptop. Wah wah.

But I did end up creating a cushion for it! And by I, I really mean basically my entire family. We tackled the project over Thanksgiving, and it turned out pretty well. Full disclosure though: It’s probably not worth it. It was very time consuming. And expensive. Foam does not come cheap, and I had to buy things that DIY veterans probably already own (upholstery needles, for example). But I am particularly proud of the fabric-covered buttons and the fact that we actually tufted it. Those people that try to DIY big, fancy headboards: insane.

I thought I’d use this bench to sit on to take off my boots this winter, but the few times I’ve had to do that, I realize my entryway is just too small. Hopefully at the next apartment I’ll have a proper foyer-type area that can house the bench and I can accessorize with the cute black and white hooks or hat boxes or something.

I want that Wednesdays

It’s as simple as this: I want a really great accent chair – well, preferably two – to fit in the cute little “reading nook” at the front of my living room. But it’s not really simple at all. It’s tricky to find something cute, comfortable and, most importantly, affordable.

Now if I could just up and buy something, that’d be one thing obviously (I can’t imagine this gorgeous chair comes cheap). But in an effort to not bounce my rent check, I make do with what I have – which are actually two pretty cool club chairs I inherited when my grandparents downsized.

The only problem is that the upholstery isn’t really my style, and actually it’s kind of dirty (thus the reason I’d never ever get white or off-white furniture!). I haven’t looked into it, but I imagine reupholstering something like this would cost a small fortune – and wouldn’t include the price of fabric of course.

So I guess what’s actually on my wishlist this “I want that Wednesdays” is 1. Time to find a quality furniture upholstery place. 2. Them to make a mistake and underestimate the amount of work it’d take to redo these chairs, thus giving me a ridiculously good deal. 3. Find some bad ass fabric to cover these sweet things in, and finally 4. Complete the nook look.

That’s not too much to ask for… right? I guess A COOL MILLION WOULD DO THE TRICK TOO.

Before and after: Kitchen chairs

Hi, I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was very good – relaxing AND productive, a difficult combination to achieve. But I am happy to report that the kitchen chairs reupholstery went very well, though it’s much more time consuming than I ever would have thought (and don’t attempt to do it alone!). Check it out:

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I can’t wait to get some fun red accessories for the kitchen to complete the retro look. I’ll create another post when the entire kitchen is ready to show off. DECORATING. IS. FUN.